Pakistani High Commissioner stopped from joining the official ceremony in New Delhi despite being invited

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NEW DELHI: A rescinded invitation to Pakistani high commissioner Abdul Basit for a book launch at Rashtrapati Bhavan is threatening to spark yet another row between the two countries. Pakistan has alleged that Basit was disinvited at the last moment. He was to attend the launch organised by a media group at 11.30am on Thursday. Pakistani sources said Basit received a message late on Wednesday night from the organisers saying he wasn't welcomed for the launch and that the invite was withdrawn by the media group at the behest of official agencies. "The organisers refused to give any reason for withdrawal of the invite. This was in very bad diplomatic taste," said a Pakistani source, calling it a government-inspired snub Significantly, Murthy even said that Basit had been "very understanding" of the matter, something which shows that the protest against the affront to their high commissioner may have been an afterthought and an attempt to make a political point against the government. Senior government officials here said they had nothing to do with the event. Relations between India and Pakistan have been in a freefall since PM Narendra Modi met his counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa in July. Ironically, the meeting was seen as a thaw in relations with both sides thrashing out a roadmap for specific engagements, notably a dialogue on terrorism between NSAs. While Pakistan blames India for ignoring the commitment in Ufa to discuss all outstanding issues — Kashmir specifically — India has accused Pakistan of a complete turnaround on what it agreed to in Ufa by refusing to go ahead first with a dialogue on terrorism between the top security officials. Source: Times of India

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