Free Press Journal

SAARC charter needs amendment to save grouping: B’desh PM aide

FOLLOW US:

New Delhi: A senior Bangladeshi official today strongly advocated amendment to the SAARC charter to disallow countries like Pakistan from vetoing regional initiatives.

He also accused Islamabad of “destabilising” the region by “allowing” cross-border terrorism.

Addressing an international conference at the Delhi University, Adviser to Bangladesh’s Prime Minister on international crimes, Waliur Rahman, also backed India’s stand on the UN designating Jaish-e-Mohammed chief and Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar a global terrorist, a move repeatedly blocked by China.


Concerned over Pakistan’s attempt to stall regional initiatives, he said, the decision-making norm in the charter should be changed from “unanimity to majority”.

“As member nations we have not made the kind of progress, we would have wanted to. The tragedy of SAARC, as I would like to call it, is that one member country is destroying it. So, should we leave SAARC or should we disband it?

“The SAARC charter says the decision has to be unanimous. I think we made a mistake, it should be based on the UN charter. And, therefore I say that we should amend it, to change the unanimity clause to majority decision-making,” he said.

Rahman said the amended charter will benefit all peace loving members of the regional grouping.

“Pakistan will veto our collective decision, it is a no- go situation. So, first three-four countries will have to be together. And, the proposal must be put up in the next head of state, summit-level meet of SAARC. It has to be done not in Islamabad of course, but somewhere else. We cannot allow the SAARC to die.

“Nepal shares the idea, I spoke to them. The group of willing members has to be together and make this proposal. And, it is my hunch that if rest of the SAARC countries, including Afghanistan, come together on this, Pakistan will also agree,” he said.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organisation and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia. Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Rahman also accused Pakistan of promoting narco-terrorism across its border and hit out at ISI, claiming, “It has more money than all the intelligence agencies of the world taken together.”

“Uri was engineered by Pakistan to sabotage the SAARC summit in Islamabad… But you see Pakistan growing and spreading terrorism is becoming a tragedy for itself too. First, JeM, LeT and now TTP, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. And a section of TTP has meshed up with the Daish (IS),” he alleged, adding, “India, Bangladesh and Nepal must be cautious of it.”