Next Summit date confirmed

  • Pakistan’s Amjad Hussain B Sial named new secy gen of regional bloc

Mar 18, 2016-

The Saarc Council of Ministers has endorsed the name of next Saarc Secretary General from Pakistan, while confirming the date for next Summit to be held in November this year. 

Concluding the four-day meeting of Saarc Standing Committee at the foreign secretary level and Council of Ministers on Thursday, members approved Amjad Hussain B Sial, a career diplomat of Pakistani Foreign Service, as the of new Saarc secretary general.

The 19th Saarc Summit will be held in Pakistan on November 9 and 10 this year, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa, the current chair of the Council of Ministers announced after the meeting.

DPM and Foreign Minister Thapa also said that the member states are rethinking how to revisit the Saarc process which has been mired by slow implementation with proliferations of commitments and announcements.

Before the meeting, there were fears of India-Pakistan dynamics overshadowing the gathering in Pokhara.

The meeting between Indian Minster for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Affairs Adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Sartaz Aziz was widely watched by the Indian and Pakistani media.

Perhaps mindful of the curiosity, DPM and Foreign Minister Thapa ruled out the rivalry between the two South Asian nuclear giants affecting the meeting.

“India and Pakistan are natural and important members of the Saarc but dynamics between the two countries were not reflected throughout the meeting,” he said.

“As a Saarc chair we have to keep the Saarc agendas alive,” said Thapa, adding that fixing the calendar of Saarc Summit in November in every two years is one major achievement. The meeting also endorsed the amendment to the Saarc Development Fund Charter by changing the requirement of three-member criteria in implementing projects to one-member criteria with direct and indirect benefit to more than one member.

“The meeting stressed on effective and expeditious implementation of the existing projects and programmes and also brought new vision in the Saarc process,” said a press statement issued after the meeting.

Published: 18-03-2016 08:09

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