India, Saarc countries pull up Pakistan, ask it to pay up $7.85 mn for South Asian University
By Team Legistify / 2017-03-28

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NEW DELHI: India and six other members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation have pulled up Pakistan, asking it to immediately pay up $7.85 million as its contribution to the South Asian University.

Pakistan is the only member of the SAARC which has not yet contributed any amount for running the institution since it started functioning in Delhi in 2010.

The external affairs ministry recently briefed a parliamentary panel on the issue and informed that SAU's governing board will "review" Pakistan's "continued participation" in the varsity if the country fails to contribute any amount to institution.

The issue was also discussed during the 53rd meeting of the SAARC's programming committee in Kathmandu early last month. India has so far given $30.37 million as its operational contribution to the varsity.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka contributed $2.3 million, $4.9 million, $2.3 million, $1.8 million, $2.9 million and $2.9 million respectively.

Pakistan's delay in making payment for the SAU is in keeping with its "general policy of resisting all initiatives by the SAARC", said an expert on South Asian affairs and functioning of SAARC.

Pakistan has in the past blocked key SAARC initiatives for road and rail connectivity within the region as well as for counter-terrorism convention. The issue was discussed during the ninth meeting of the governing board of the varsity in Dhaka on November 28, 2016.

Pakistan, however, recently conveyed that efforts were being made to expedite payment of its share of contribution to the SAU, according to people aware of the matter. India has spent $ 29.92 million as capital cost to build the SAU near Maidan Garhi in South Delhi, in keeping with its commitment to bear the entire expenses to set up the varsity.

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