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5th Muharram 1436 | Friday, Oct 31, 2014
Pakistan

Pak minister not to visit India as SAARC meet cancelled

Friday, 8 February 2013
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Islamabad, February 08:

Pakistan commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim has called off a visit to India later this month as a SAARC business meet he was scheduled to attend in New Delhi has been cancelled.

"The commerce minister's visit to India had been approved by the Prime Minister and all arrangements had been completed for the trip."

"However, the 'SAARC Business Leaders Conclave' from February 21-24, which he was scheduled to attend, has been cancelled," an aide to Fahim told PTI.

The aide made it clear that the decision was not linked in any way to recent tensions in bilateral relations.

He was invited to the meet by his Indian counterpart Anand Sharma.

Fahim was also expected to hold talks with Sharma on the sidelines of the regional meet.

Last month, Fahim had called off a scheduled visit to India to attend a partnership summit in Agra in the wake of growing tensions between the neighbours over ceasefire violations along the line of control.

Fahim told reporters he had decided against travelling to India as the business meet would clash with a meeting between a government team and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, who recently led a protest to push for electoral reforms.

However, official sources said Fahim's decision was linked to the spike in tensions between India and Pakistan over a string of clashes along the LoC that left two Indian and three Pakistani soldiers dead.

--IANS

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