20 Pakistani students in Chandigarh for peace fest may cut short visit | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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20 Pakistani students in Chandigarh for peace fest may cut short visit

The 19 girls and one boy came to the city on Tuesday night on a visit of seven days to take part in the ongoing 11th Global Peace Festival. Pramod Sharma, the event organiser, told PTI the students are “under a lot of pressure” from their parents who want them to go back in light of the developments that have taken place since Indian Army’s surgical strike across the LoC.

punjab Updated: Sep 30, 2016 01:30 IST
Arvind Chhabra
Pakistani and other delegates of Global Peace Festival with the students at Gurukul Global School in Manimajra on Thursday.
Pakistani and other delegates of Global Peace Festival with the students at Gurukul Global School in Manimajra on Thursday.(Sant Arora/HT Photo)

Following Army’s surgical strike across Line of Control (LoC), the 19 young women students attending the five-day Global Peace Fest have been receiving calls from their parents in Pakistan asking them to return.

However, the NGO organising the event said it will take a final call on Friday. The girls were supposed to travel to Shimla on Friday and return to Pakistan on Monday. “We are looking at all options,” said Pramod Sharma, coordinator of Yuvsatta.

He added that the security personnel were allowing people with valid papers to cross over at the border. “But we would like to see how the situation develops on Friday morning before taking any decision,” he said.

The parents have been calling since afternoon when the news about Indian Army’s strike spread. “But we told them that the girls are safe and being looked after well,” said Sharma. “I’ve been telling them that in India, guests are treated like gods and there’s no need to worry.”

Sources said the intelligence sleuths have been keeping a close watch over the guests and have instructed the organisers not to allow anyone near them. Following this, the organisers altered their programme and are not allowing them to interact with the public or media.

They were taken to Indian School of Business (ISB) in SAS Nagar for plenary sessions along with delegates from 31 other countries. The girls also interacted with students of a school and gave them Indo-Pak friendship cards.

A senior Chandigarh police official said adequate security measures had been taken since their arrival on Tuesday night.

Abdul Basit cancels Chandigarh visit

Pakistan high commissioner to India Abdul Basit has cancelled his tour to Chandigarh on Saturday, where he was scheduled to address students from India and Pakistan as part of a peace event. “We’ve been conveyed that the High Commissioner is not coming which we can understand,” said Pramod Sharma.

Read | Were told we won’t return alive, say Pak women, still travelled to India