India to stay away from Pakistan Day reception after event invitation to separatists
The government on Friday decided to boycott the Pakistan National Day event to be held at its high commission here as Kashmiri separatist leaders were invited, an official said.
Over the past few years, India's representation at the annual event has been at the level of a Union minister. This year, Indian government officials will stay away from the reception on March 23, the official said. '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. 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 nuclear-armed neighbours after the Pulwama terror attack and subsequent airstrike by India on a training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan's Balakot on February 26.
Pakistan retaliated the next day by unsuccessfully attempting to target Indian military installations.
India has been mounting a diplomatic offensive on Pakistan against terrorism since the Pulwama attack to corner the country internationally.