Stalled Saarc: Members make desperate attempt to clear Pak obstacles

Kathmandu, Nov 27: Member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) were putting pressure on Pakistan from saving the 18th summit ending without a cause. South Asian leaders hoped that Islamabad would agree to the power-sharing and free movement of vehicles and trains across the border to boost trade in a region which is home to nearly a quarter of the world's population.

The leaders of the seven states were expected to give it a final push at Dhulikhel near Kathmandu to convince Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to sign the regional connectivity agreements.

Saarc members try to convince Pakistan

On Wednesday, Pakistan refused to given assent to the three key pacts concerning power cooperation and road and rail connectivity saying it was not yet done with the "internal process", causing an upset in the summit

Host Nepal and Bangladesh put extra efforts to convince Pakistan to ink the pacts that also aim to set up a seamless power grid across South Asia.

South Asia witnesses just five per cent of their total trade occurring within its nations despite the existence of a free trade agreement that came into force in 2006.

Indo-Pak rift has seriously damaged the Saarc's hopes in three decades

Sour relation between India and Pakistan has crippled the Saarc's progress in the last three decades. The two countries have problems in trade and energy cooperation and the shadow continues to loom large over the Saarc.

Nepalese Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey had told PTI on Wednesday that "there are some roadblocks and we are working to clear them".

Oneindia News

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