India not to attend Pakistan National Day celebrations after Separatists leaders get invited





India has decided not to send any official representative to attend the Pakistan National Day celebrations scheduled to be held at the Pakistan High Commission here on Friday, government sources said. Sources added that the decision was taken by the Indian government amid reports that Pakistan has invited separatist leaders from Jammu and Kashmir to attend the event.

“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. In view of Government of India’s stance, Government officials are expected to stay away from the event,” sources added.

While Islamabad would be celebrating the occasion on March 23, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi is organising events a day earlier on March 22.

Pakistan Day is celebrated to mark the Lahore Resolution on March 23 each year. The Lahore Resolution, which is also called Pakistan Resolution, passed on March 23, 1940, is considered a major milestone in the Muslim struggle for an independent Muslim state which was later called Pakistan.

India, time and again, has always objected to Pakistan’s engagement with the separatist leaders.

Last month, India strongly objected against the telephonic conversation between Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, ahead of an event organised in London to mark Islamabad’s solidarity with a Kashmir-related event.

However, the diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan have deteriorated after the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 security personnel were killed on February 14. The responsibility of the terror attack was claimed by Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad.

The tension got further escalated when 2000 Mirage fighter planes of the Indian Air force crossed the Line of Control and bombed the training camp of JeM located in Balakot on February 26.

Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood returned to New Delhi on March 9 after he was recalled to Islamabad for consultations in the wake of escalating tension between the two neighbouring countries following the Pulwama terror attack.

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