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Pakistan not pleased with India’s decision not to issue visas to journalists to cover the Kartarpur meeting

March 13 , 2019

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Faisal. Photo: AFP

Islamabad is not pleased with New Delhi’s decision not to issue visas to Pakistani journalists to cover the Kartarpur meeting scheduled in India on March 14, the Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

“It is regrettable that India has not given visas to Pakistani journalists for the Karatarpur meeting tomorrow,” said Dr Mohammad Faisal, spokesperson of the ministry of foreign affairs, in a tweet.

“We hope that Pakistan’s Kartarpur spirit and the meeting tomorrow will bring a change for the better for people of both countries.”

Related: Pakistani delegation to visit India on March 14 to discuss Kartarpur Corridor

He pointed out in an earlier tweet that more than 30 Indian journalists covered the Kartarpur groundbreaking ceremony in Pakistan last year. He said the people from the Indian media also met Prime Minister Imran Khan and were hosted by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for a dinner during their stay in Pakistan.

In January, Pakistan called on India to expedite the process for the Kartarpur Sahib pilgrims and shared a draft of the proposed agreement with India.

Authorities from the two countries decided to meet on March 14 in Attari, near Amritsar, to hash out the details of opening the Kartarpur Corridor, said the Indian media. Later, an Indian delegation will visit Islamabad for a follow-up meeting on March 28.

Related: Pakistan adds Hafiz Saeed’s JuD and FIF to proscribed organisation list

The Indian ministry of external affairs also confirmed the dates.

Tensions between the two countries were high after heightened escalation along the Line of Control. The situation developed after a terrorist attack in Pulwama, a district in Indian-Administered Kashmir. The suicide bombing left 43 Indian armed forces personnel dead.

On February 26, two Indian warplanes violated the Pakistani airspace and claimed to have targeted a terrorist camp in Balakot. The Pakistani foreign office condemned the Indian aggression and pledged to ‘surprise’ India.

Pakistan captured an Indian pilot the following day after shooting down two Indian aircraft. However, the pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, was released after a day’s captivity at the behest of PM Imran Khan.

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