Mon, 25 May 2020
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New Delhi [India], April 9 (ANI): Pakistan has been angling to bring the coronavirus-related interactions under the formal SAARC umbrella by seeking to involve its secretariat in an attempt to get free hand to block India's initiatives, government sources said and noted that the activities were under extraordinary circumstances to deal with challenge in a result-oriented manner without being bound by any procedural formalities which could prove to be constraints.

The sources said Pakistan's efforts to bring COVID-19 related interactions under the formal South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) umbrella was an attempt to get free hand to block all initiatives and proposals by India by using the SAARC charter provisions, rules of procedure etc. including application of principle of consensus for the drafting of agenda, outcome document, concurrence of all member states for each and every thing every step of the way.

The sources said that keeping control of the activities that emerged from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's video conference of March 15 has helped India move much faster and without any hindrances.

India had described these activities as being stand-alone and outside the "SAARC calendar of approved activities", they said.

"We regard the present activities as events under extraordinary Covid-19 circumstances focussed only to jointly dealing with the challenge in the SAARC region in a result-oriented way, without being bound by any procedural formalities that could prove to be constraints," a source said.

Pakistan on Wednesday did not take part in India-led South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) trade officials discussion saying such activities could only be effective if spearheaded by the SAARC Secretariat. (ANI)

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