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India to boycott Pakistan's National Day event as JK separatists invited

“The Pakistan High Commission has invited Hurriyat representatives to the Pakistan National Day reception on March 22. Therefore, the government will not be sending any official representative to the event,” said a source.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 22 March 2019 6:09 AM GMT

India to boycott Pakistans National Day event as JK separatists invited
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New Delhi: India has decided not to attend Pakistan High Commission’s National Day reception in Delhi, which is being observed a day earlier on Friday, while Pakistan celebrates it on March 23. The government took the decision since Hurriyat leaders have also been invited, as per sources.

"The government of India has decided not to send any official representative to the Pakistan National Day event at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi," the official said.

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Over the past few years, India's representation at the annual event has been at the level of a union minister.

The decision has been taken because Pakistan has decided to invite separatist Hurriyat leaders from Jammu and Kashmir to the event, the official added.

The decision comes in the wake of heightened tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbours after the Pulwama terror attack and subsequent air strike by India on a training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan's Balakot on February 26.

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Pakistan retaliated the next day by unsuccessfully attempting to target Indian military installations. The JeM claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.

India has been mounting diplomatic offensive on Pakistan since the Pulwama attack to corner the country internationally on the issue of terrorism.

“The Pakistan High Commission has invited Hurriyat representatives to the Pakistan National Day reception on March 22. Therefore, the government will not be sending any official representative to the event,” said a source.

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(With Agency Inputs)

Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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