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India summons Basit over discourtesy to envoy in Pak

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New Delhi: India today summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit to lodge a strong protest over the “discourtesy” shown to India’s envoy to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale.

“Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned today to the Ministry of External Affairs and conveyed the concern of Government of India by Secretary (West) (Sujata Mehta) on discourtesy to Indian High Commissioner,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

Basit was conveyed India’s view on the discourtesy towards Bambawale by Karachi Chamber of Commerce that cancelled an event at the last minute. Bambawale was scheduled to speak at the event, invite for which was received and accepted by him a couple of weeks ago.

“He (Basit) was also conveyed our hope that our accredited diplomats in Pakistan will be allowed to discharge their normal functions without hindrance,” Swarup said.

Bambawale, who was on his first visit to Karachi after assuming charge in January this year, was told about the cancellation just half an hour before the event.

The organisers did not give a reason immediately for the cancellation. However, the Indian officials felt that Bambawale’s comments on Monday on Pakistan’s interference in Kashmir which was India’s internal matter had “rattled the Pakistani authorities, prompting a cancellation”.

During an interactive session organised by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations, Bambawale had taken a swipe at Pakistan over its interference in Kashmir, saying people living in glass houses should not be throwing stones at others.

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