Buoyant mood prevails SAARC summit eve
A crucial meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation begins in Islamabad on Sunday in the midst of thaw in Indo-Pak relations.world Updated: Jan 03, 2004 15:48 IST
A crucial meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) begins in Islamabad on Sunday in the midst of thaw in Indo-Pak relations and hopes of a new beginning in their bilateral ties.
The stage has been already set for a constructive engagement, with the foreign ministers of the seven-member regional grouping achieving a major breakthrough by agreeing to set up SAARC Free Trade Area, clearing hitches to an Additional Protocol to the Regional Convention on Suppression of terrorism and a path-breaking Social Charter.
The summit takes place two years after the last one in Kathmandu where Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf made a surprise handshake with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee seeking to break the ice of the Kargil conflict.
As media speculation mounted on the possibilities of his meetings with Pakistani leadership, a Vajpayee-Musharraf meeting, if it comes about, will be his third interface with the Pakistan President after Kathmandu and Agra.