The special session of the SAARC standing committee, scheduled for next week in Colombo, has been postponed indefinitely following the Nepal massacre, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said today. No new dates have been fixed.
The special session of the standing committee, which is the charter body of SAARC Foreign Secretaries, was scheduled to meet on June 7 and 8 to kick-start the process for the SAARC summit, which has not been held since 1998.
The Foreign Secretary of India, Mrs. Chokila Iyer, and her Pakistani counterpart, Mr. Inamul Haq, were scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the SAARC meeting. This indefinite postponement leaves them high and dry as it would have been an opportunity for a dialogue on the details of the Vajpayee-Musharraf summit.
A great deal of preparation is necessary before any summit meeting, even more so in the case of heads of two hostile neighbours.
The two sides will now have to consider establishing contact some other way.