India envoy’s speech at Pakistan institute cancelled

The Asian Age.  | Shafqat Ali

India, All India

The National School of Public Policy withdrew the invitation and maintained that the event had been cancelled due to ‘scheduling constraints’.

ndia's High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria (Facebook Screengrab/ Ajay Bisaria)

Islamabad: Indian high commissioner in Pakistan Ajay Bisaria’s speech at a training institute in Lahore was cancelled at the last minute on Thursday.

Mr Bisaria was scheduled to deliver a speech at the Lahore campus of National School of Public Policy, an institution for training of civil servants in Pakistan.

The event was organised by Civil Services Academy in Pakistan and the invitation was sent last month.

The institute, however, withdrew the invitation and maintained that the event had been cancelled due to “scheduling constraints”.

Recently, Mr Bisaria was also stopped from visiting a gurdwara, despite securing prior permissions. The foreign ministry claimed the Sikh pilgrims from India did not want to meet the Indian envoy.

This month, India cancelled the proposed foreign ministers’ meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said that “talks with Pakistan have begun many times.

However, the only thing the stopped India was Pakistan’s behaviour.” Pak-India ties turned frosty after the Pathankot attack in January, 2016 and another strike by militants on an Army camp in Kashmir’s Uri area in September that year.

The nuclear armed neighbours have fought three wars since gaining Independence from the British in 1947. The two South Asian neighbours also regularly trade allegations of harassment and espionage against diplomats.

Reports said the cross-border clashes between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India had reached the highest levels in 15 years. Hundreds of people have been killed or wounded in the clashes.

The Line of Control and the Working Boundary had remained relatively peaceful after the 2003 ceasefire agreement but recent skirmishes have heightened the tension.

India also accuses Pakistan of inciting the Sikh community to intensify the ‘Khalistan’ campaign. Pakistan rejects the Indian allegation.