Have spoken with Modi to revitalise Saarc, says Nepal PM Oli

Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli said he raised the issue with Modi on the margins of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) Summit in Kathmandu last week.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2018 22:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
KP Oli,Saarc,Narendra Modi
Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.(PTI File Photo)

Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday said he had spoken to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi about reinvigorating Saarc, noting that Bimstec could not be an alternative to the grouping of Bay of Bengal states.

Oli said he raised the issue with Modi on the margins of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) Summit in Kathmandu last week.

Delivering a speech in Parliament, he said: “We want to make Saarc a vibrant organisation. We have some misunderstandings in Saarc but we should not remain stuck here. “But one thing is clear – that Saarc is not an alternative to Bimstec.”

The fourth Bimstec Summit in Kathmandu generated considerable speculation about the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), whose fate has hung in the balance since 2016, when India decided to pull out of a summit to be hosted by Pakistan following a string of terror attacks. Since Saarc works by consensus, the summit could not be held. Since then, India has shown little interest in taking forward the Saarc process and indicated that the Saarc Summit in Pakistan cannot go ahead till Islamabad takes decisive action against terrorists operating from Pakistani soil.

First Published: Sep 04, 2018 22:24 IST