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Pakistan blames India for postponement of SAARC conference

Associated Press Associated Press 30/09/2016

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's Foreign Ministry says it remains committed to hosting the 19th SAARC Summit, which has been postponed after India's decision to abstain.

The Summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation was scheduled to take place in Islamabad on Nov. 9-10. Bangladesh also announced it would abstain. The ministry statement blamed the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it was exploiting recent tensions over cross-border violence in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

The statement also questioned the sincerity of Modi's call to fight against poverty in the region.

SAARC was founded in 1985 to promote economic cooperation, but tensions between India and Pakistan have repeatedly blocked progress.

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