The games in Islamabad were originally to be held in 2001, but they were inevitably rescheduled (with the location remaining unchanged) for March 29 through April 6, 2003, due to the invasion of Afghanistan. Afghanistan was invited for the games, however Bhutan and India withdrew.
The entire event was postponed once again due to the war against Iraq. Pakistan retained the organisational authority, despite Sri Lanka being offered to host the games for 2004. Nevertheless, the honour was returned to Sri Lanka as they were given the 10th edition for 2005 instead. The 9th edition was then rescheduled in Pakistan, for March 28 through April 6, 2004. Despite not entering in the previous schedule, Bhutan and India now entered, though the Maldives withdrew.Afghanistan is first time included in these games.