Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Snub to Indian high commissioner: India summons Pak envoy Abdul Basit

India on Wednesday summoned Pakistani envoy Abdul Basit to lodge a formal protest over the last-minute cancellation of an event that Indian high commissioner to Pakistan, Gautam Bambawale, was scheduled to speak at in Karachi, reports said. Even though Pakistan's envoy here made provocative comments about Kashmir - while in Delhi on August 14 - Islamabad, it seems, can't handle a situation where the Indian envoy there does the same. 

Thus, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday cancelled an event that Bambawale was to speak at, apparently to chastise him for his remarks on Pakistan's interference in Kashmir. "This is very disrespectful on the part of the organisers," Indian officials asserted. Earlier on Tuesday, Bambawale lambasted Pakistan for interfering in Kashmir. The state has seen violent unrest for two months now and Pakistan has been consistently commenting on it. 

 "People living in glass houses should not be throwing stones at others... There are problems in both India and Pakistan and you [Pakistan] should focus on resolving your problems before looking into the problems of other countries," Bambawale said on Tuesday in Karachi, even as he asserted that Kashmir is an internal matter of India. Clearly, that didn't go down well with Islamabad. Bambawale was told that another Karachi event he was to attend was cancelled. He was informed of it "just half an hour before the event, the invite for which was received and accepted by him a couple of weeks ago", PTI reported, quoting government sources. 

 The organisers didn't give a reason for the cancellation. However, Indian officials felt that the Indian envoy's comments "rattled Pakistani authorities, prompting a cancellation". It may be recalled that Islamabad's envoy here, Abdul Basit, while in Delhi, said Pakistan's Independence Day celebration is dedicated to "Kashmir getting freedom." "Is saal ki Jashn e Azadi hum Kashmir ki Azadi ke naam karte hain," Basit said. That translates to "This year's Independence day celebrations are in the name of Kashmir's (future) independence."

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