India says `No’ to Expansion of Saarc

In defence of secularism
  • Even as India reiterated that there was no proposal for an expansion of Saarc, the Kathmandu Declaration had enough for nations seeking greater engagement with Observer countries including China.
  • Unlike the Addu Declaration at the last Saarc summit in Maldives in 2011, the Kathmandu Declaration clearly laid out a roadmap for “productive'' cooperation between member-states and Observers.
  • In furtherance of earlier decisions on establishing dialogue partnership with states outside the region, the leaders appreciated the study undertaken by the SAARC secretariat to review
  • The leaders also analyzed the engagement with the existing Observers to establish dialogue partnership.
  • The Leaders directed the Programming Committee to engage the Saarc Observers into productive, demand-driven and objective project based cooperation in priority areas