Forums > News And Gossips > Pakistan ‘to raise students issue diplomatically’
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Subject : Pakistan ‘to raise students issue diplomatically’
The Foreign Office on Thursday said the government will raise with India the issue of sending back a delegation of Pakistani students who were on a visit to the neighboring country as part of an exchange program. “Pakistan always raises its concerns wherever warranted; we take it up through diplomatic channels,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said during his weekly press briefing in Islamabad. A group of 50 Pakistani students and teachers visiting India at the invitation of an NGO were sent back on Wednesday following threats from Hindu hardliners. The Delhi-based Routs2roots had invited the students, aged 11 to 15, from Pakistan as part of Student ‘Exchange for Change’ Program.

The students arrived in the Indian capital on May 1 and were scheduled to go on a day-long trip to Agra on Wednesday and hoped to participate in an exchange program with Indian students at the Pakistan embassy in New Delhi a day later. Their trip, however, was cut short after the host organisation received threats from Shiv Sena for inviting the students against the backdrop of allegations that Pakistan Army had killed two Indian soldiers near the Line of Control and mutilated their bodies. The army has rubbished the allegations, saying it would never disrespect a soldier’s body. In reaction, the Indian army chief threatened to avenge alleged be headings, fearing tensions may rise between the countries in coming days.

Keeping in view safety of the students, Indian officials advised the NGO to send them back, terming the current situation ‘unfavourable’ for the exchange program. They escorted the students to the Wagah border amid tight security. “The ministry advised the NGO that it was not an appropriate time for such exchanges,” said Indian External Affairs Spokesperson Gopal Baglay. The NGO also expressed regret over the return of the Pakistani student delegation. Reacting to the development, Zakaria said the incident showed the growing intolerance in India, adding that the incident was not the first, as in the past as well Pakistanis visiting India had to face threats from Hindu hardline parties.

He recalled that Zara store was attacked in Mumbai and Pakistani products were destroyed. Before that Pakistani artists were stopped from visiting India and they were harassed, he added. “In India, growing incidents of intolerance, extremism have attracted world attention and the international community has been deeply concerned about such incidents,” he regretted. “These incidents of extremism and growing intolerance are making headlines in the western democracies and other countries.” The spokesperson criticized the Indian government for being a mere spectator to the activities of Hindu extremists. He said India’s hostile policy towards Pakistan and within India persecution of religious minorities – including Muslims and Christians – had been noted by the international community with concern.


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Posted on May, 05 2017 02:42:43 PM

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