Pakistani envoy Abdul Basit calls off visit to Chennai

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 20, 2016 21:59 IST
Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit has cancelled his visit to Chennai. (File Photo)

Pakistani envoy Abdul Basit on Saturday called off a planned visit to Chennai, with officials saying the external affairs ministry had not given clearance for the trip.

Basit was scheduled to visit Chennai during February 21-23. He was expected to meet the governor and chief minister of Tamil Nadu and interact with representatives of a think tank, business organisations, media groups and Chennai Press Club.

Officials of the Pakistan high commission said it was “unfortunate” the envoy and other officials were “not given clearance” for the visit.

“We do not know whether permission (and) clearances will come through or not, therefore the high commissioner has called off the visit. As this is his first visit to Chennai, he would not like to leave New Delhi amidst uncertainty,” an official said.

The external affairs ministry spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

In July last year, Basit had cancelled a visit to Chandigarh after the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana called off their meetings with him in the wake of a terror attack in Gurdaspur that was blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

India and Pakistan called off a planned meeting of their foreign secretaries after the terror attack on Pathankot airbase on January 2 that Indian officials said was carried out by the Jaish-e-Mohammed.

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