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India to skip Pakistan national Day event over invite to Hurriyat leaders

Commission in Delhi after they decided to invite separatist Hurriyat leaders to the event.

“India had decided earlier that Pakistan’s efforts to engage with Hurriyat will not be taken lightly,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

It was also decided that the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad would also not attend Pakistan National Day event there, Kumar added

The Pakistan National Day is observed every year on March 23, though the Pakistan high commission had decided to organise the reception this year on March 22.

An Indian minister usually represents the government at the event..

India’s snub to Pakistan comes amid dip in bilateral ties following the Pulwama terror attack last month that left 40 jawans dead. India retaliated to the terror attack with airstrikes on Jaish camp in Balakot.

India had also formally complained to the Pakistan government about instances of its diplomats and officials in Islamabad being harassed by security personnel.

In a note verbale – an unsigned diplomatic correspondence – submitted to Pakistan’s foreign ministry on March 18, the Indian high commission in Islamabad detailed the incidents that occurred last week and sought an investigation, people familiar with developments said.

First Published:
Mar 22, 2019 16:13 IST

Source: HindustanTimes