Indian Govt boycotts Pak National Day، PM Modi sends greetings to people of Pakistan
Saturday 23/March/2019 - 11:31 AM
Modi and Khan
The Indian Express
On a day the NDA government decided to boycott the Pakistan National Day reception at its High Commission’s lawns، Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan disclosed that he had received a message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he said that it is time that people of the sub-continent “work together for a democratic، peaceful، progressive & prosperous region، in an atmosphere free of terror and violence."
Within hours of Pakistan’s National Day reception wrapping up، Khan tweeted: “I welcome PM Modi’s message to our people. As we celebrate Pakistan Day I believe it is time to begin a comprehensive dialogue with India to address & resolve all issues، esp the central issue of Kashmir، & forge a new relationship based on peace & prosperity for all our people."
Almost an hour earlier، Khan had tweeted، “Received msg from PM Modi: “I extend my greetings & best wishes to the people of Pakistan on the National Day of Pakistan. It is time that ppl of Sub-continent work together for a democratic، peaceful، progressive & prosperous region، in an atmosphere free of terror and violence."
While Modi’s message emphasized terrorism، Khan’s response stressed on Kashmir. This came on a day when، drawing a new red line، India decided not to send an official representative to Pakistan High Commission’s National Day reception on Friday، as reported by The Indian Express.
Confirming the government’s decision، the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “This decision was taken after the Pakistan High Commission decided to invite representatives of the Hurriyat Conference to the reception."
He also said that Indian diplomats in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad will also not attend the Pak National Day celebrations. Kumar said that India is very clear that any attempt by Pakistan High Commission or Pakistan’s leadership to engage with the Hurriyat Conference “will not be taken lightly."
While no Hurriyat leaders were present at the National Day reception، no Indian official was present either. With the government appearing to speak in two voices، sources said that Prime Minister sends a customary message on national days to other Heads of State or Government. “His message to PM Imran Khan highlighted the importance of a terror-free South Asia.”