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India summons Pakistan envoy over 'discourtesy' to Indian high commissioner in Karachi

Basit has reportedly been summoned over cancellation of the Indian high commissioner's Karachi event. Photograph: (AFP)

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 07, 2016, 10.50 AM (IST)
Indian ministry of external affairs today summoned Pakistan envoy to India Abdul Basit over 'discourtesy' to Indian high commissioner to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale in Karachi.

Sources in the MEA confirmed the news. "Yes. Basit was summoned by Secretary (West) over discourtesy to our high commissioner in Karachi," an MEA official told WION.

The event was cancelled over Bambawale's remarks about 'Pakistan's interference in the Kashmir issue', which he said was India's internal matter, according to media reports. 

The event was cancelled half an hour before it was slated to begin, PTI reported.

On Tuesday, Bambawale was also quoted as saying that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is looking forward to visiting Islamabad for the SAARC Summit. Sources in the Indian government, however, said that no decision had been taken on the Modi's participation in the summit scheduled for November.

"I can't say about the future but as of today, Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi is looking forward to visiting Islamabad for the SAARC summit in November this year," Bambawale, who was attending an interactive session organised by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations, said. 

His remarks come at a time when both the countries are engaged in a verbal battle over terrorism and the situation in the Kashmir Valley gripped by unrest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Burhan Wani on July 8. While India has accused Pakistan of supporting cross-border terrorism, Pakistan has been trying to sought international attention towards the Kashmir issue, alleging New Delhi of human rights violations.

Indian ministry of external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted today that no such decision had been made yet. "As I stated in my weekly briefing, decisions and announcements of such nature are not made so far in advance," Swarup said.

(WION with inputs from agencies)
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