India has blocked Masood Khan, the ‘president’ of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir from attending an event in the Lower House of the French Parliament.
According to sources, Khan was supposed to address French parliamentarians at the event organised by the Pakistan Embassy in France.
The Indian mission in Paris issued a demarche and urged the French foreign ministry to stop the PoK ‘president’ from addressing as Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the address will be an infringement of India’s sovereignty, sources said.
France took note and barred Khan from attending the event.
Prominent members of the Indian diaspora also gave a signed representation to stop the event, sources said.
Tensions between India and Pakistan rose after New Delhi abrogated Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and passed a bill to bifurcate the region into two Union Territories.
Since then, Pakistan has been making futile attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, but has been snubbed by the international community.
India has maintained that its constitutional changes on Kashmir are strictly an internal matter, a stance supported by several countries across the world.
Earlier this year, France took the lead in designating Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UNSC 1267 sanctions committee. This came in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14, which was claimed by JeM.