PM Narendra Modi brought up the 26/11 Mumbai attack in his Saarc address as he called for a pledge to combat terror and trans-national crimes in the region.
On a day that marked the sixth anniversary of the LeT strike, Modi chose not to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif
Modi said: Today, as we remember the horror of Mumbai attack in 2008, we feel the endless pain of lost lives, let us work together to fulfil the pledge we have taken to combat terrorism and trans-national crimes.
The 18th Saarc summit itself ended with a whimper on the first day as Pakistan spoiled India's party by blocking three key agreements
Amongst the three key agreements it included one for a regional power grid, which the Saarc nations were looking to sign to improve connectivity and trade cooperation in the region.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said this was going to be a major “discussion point“ at the Dhulikhel retreat, near Kathmandu,
The second leg of the summit, as several countries were disappointed.
While Modi and Sharif seemed cold to each other on the podium, Indian officials later suggested that the two leaders had exchanged pleasantries.
Modi and Nawaz could still have a brief “powwow“ at Dhulikhel but both sides suggested that any such meeting was not likely to be substantive in nature.
Nepal has been abuzz with reports in the local media about China looking to push its case for full membership of Saarc.
Sharif added to the speculation when he said in his address about how the grouping could benefit from greater interaction with Observer countries as he identified South Asia, China and Central Asia as the three engines of growth.
Seeking a “dispute free“ South Asia, and a bond of trust among Saarc nations, Sharif said the gap between the aspirations of people in the region and the reality had to be bridged.
India, however, is opposed to any horizontal expansion of Saarc before it is strengthened in its current form.
Modi said a prosperous Saarc needed the strong foundation of a secure South Asia.
Even as the expected agreements were blocked by Pakistan, Modi said his vision for the region was based on five pillars: trade, investment, assistance, cooperation in every area and contacts between our people and through seamless connectivity.