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Pakistan Aiming to Score Narrow Political Goals by Seeking COVID-19 Initiatives Under SAARC: Sources

A screen grab of the video conference held last month by SAARC members to combat the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

A display screen seize of the video convention held final month by SAARC members to fight the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pakistan boycotted a video convention of commerce officers of the SAARC nations to debate methods to minimise the financial price of the pandemic, saying such initiatives might solely be efficient if spearheaded by the group’s secretariat as an alternative of India.

  • PTI New Delhi
  • Last Updated: April 10, 2020, 12:00 AM IST

Pakistan is aiming to attain slim political targets by trying to convey India’s initiatives to collectively struggle the coronavirus pandemic within the SAARC area underneath the formal umbrella of the grouping, authorities sources mentioned on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Pakistan boycotted a video convention of commerce officers of the SAARC nations to debate methods to minimise the financial price of the pandemic.

Islamabad mentioned such initiatives might solely be efficient if spearheaded by the group’s secretariat as an alternative of India.

In such a state of affairs, the sources mentioned, Pakistan will get a free hand to dam India’s initiatives and proposals by utilizing the SAARC constitution of provisions and guidelines of process.

“It is an attempt to score narrow political goals while people of the region are facing the coronavirus crisis,” mentioned a supply on Thursday.

The commerce officers of the SAARC nations on Wednesday broadly agreed to determine new methods to “sustain and expand” the intra-regional commerce to offset the large financial price of the coronavirus pandemic.

The officers additionally deliberated on creating a bigger framework of commerce facilitation and highlighted the necessity to improve the quantum of intra-SAARC commerce because the pandemic is more likely to have a substantial impression on the area.

The deliberations occurred as a observe as much as an India-initiated video convention of SAARC leaders on March 15. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged within the convention that the member nations of the bloc ought to come collectively to collectively struggle the pandemic.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional grouping comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

All the SAARC member nations are reeling underneath opposed social and financial impression of the coronavirus pandemic.

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