SAARC 10 developments
A handshake between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif marked the end of a two-day SAARC summit in Nepal that was clouded by cold vibes between the two leaders.
Kathmandu: A handshake between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif marked the end of a two-day SAARC summit in Nepal that was clouded by cold vibes between the two leaders.
Here are 10 developments in this story:
1.The summit erupted in applause when PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif shook hands at the close of the event, their smiles contrasting sharply with their demeanour a day ago, when they ignored each other.
2.An energy pact was a face-saver of the summit after Pakistan's refusal to back key proposals supported by India and other nations. Other agreements on freeing up road and rail movement will be taken up in a six-month time-frame, says Nepal.
3.Sources say SAARC leaders persuaded Mr Sharif to endorse at least the energy deal to avoid a complete collapse of the summit.
4.At the Retreat in Dhulikhel, famous for its magnificent view of the Himalayas, PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif exchanged hellos and pleasantries, say sources.
5.On Wednesday, PM Modi had two-way talks with most leaders except Nawaz Sharif.
6.Chances of a meeting between the two to restart India-Pakistan talks faded after Mr Sharif told reporters that "the ball is in India's court." India says Pakistan needs to commit to "meaningful dialogue" before they can meet at the summit.
7.In his address in the opening session of the two-day summit, PM Modi had bluntly said SAARC evoked cynicism and skepticism, and offered his suggestions to improve connectivity in the region.
8."As SAARC we have failed to move with the speed that our people expect and want. Nowhere in the world are collective efforts more urgent than in South Asia; and, nowhere else is it so modest," PM Modi said.
9.In its 30 years, SAARC or the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, has delivered negligible results for economic ties and development among its members - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
10.Despite a free trade pact since 2006, South Asian nations conduct only 5 per cent of their total trade with each other, and there are few transport and power links among them.
14 Oct 2019 4:06 PM GMT