Modi will be invited for SAARC summit: Pakistan Foreign Office

SAARC Summits are usually held biennially hosted by a member state in alphabetical order.

Updated - November 27, 2018 07:39 pm IST

Published - November 27, 2018 05:42 pm IST - Islamabad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be invited for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman Mohammad Faisal was quoted as saying by Dawn newspaper on Tuesday

The 2016 SAARC Summit was to be held in Islamabad. But after the terrorist attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir in September that year, India expressed its inability to participate in the summit due to “prevailing circumstances”.

The summit was called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to participate in the meet. Maldives and Sri Lanka are the seventh and eighth members of the initiative.

Mr. Faisal recalled that Prime Minister Imran Khan said in his victory speech that if India took one step forward, Pakistan would take two.

He said Mr. Khan, in a letter to his Indian counterpart, had expressed Pakistan's openness to resolving all outstanding issues through dialogue with India.

“We fought a war with India, relations cannot be fixed quickly,” Mr. Faisal said.

SAARC summits are usually held biennially hosted by a member state in alphabetical order. The member state hosting the summit assumes the Chair of the Association. The last SAARC Summit in 2014 was held in Kathmandu, which was attended by Mr. Modi.

Kartarpur corridor

Mr. Faisal also said the Kartarpur corridor , which will facilitate the visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, is expected to be completed within six months.

“In this century, diplomacy has completely changed,” he said, adding that policies are now made based on citizens’ emotions and wishes.

Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is located across the Ravi river, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district. It was established by the Sikh Guru in 1522. The first Gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was built here, where Guru Nanak Dev is said to have died.

Both India and Pakistan have decided to build a corridor, linking Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district with the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan.

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