The Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana (BCPH) has postponed an international conference and a cricket tournament with lawyers from Pakistan reportedly due to the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan following the Pathankot terror attack.
The 54-lawyer delegation from Pakistan, comprising senior advocates and Bar council members, was to visit India on the invitation of BCPH from January 15-21.
BCPH chairman Rajat Guatam said the conference and a cricket tournament, which were to take place during their visit, had been postponed due to the ongoing crisis. “We want that the relations between the neighbours improve. Their visit has only been postponed. We will announce the new dates later,” Gautam told HT.
It is learnt that the BCPH got a letter from the ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Thursday evening informing them that the security clearance was given for the event but the political clearance would be given by the ministry of external affairs.
The letter from the MHA says that for visas to visiting nationals of Pakistan, China and Sudan, at least 60-day time is needed for processing. Of the delegation members, visas were cleared to one person and others’ cases were yet to be cleared by the Centre, it is learnt. The delegation was visiting India on the BCPH invitation sent in November. It is learnt that the Centre was also informed about the visit in November and a list of the visiting lawyers was supplied.
The delegation was to participate in an international conference ‘Role of Jurists in Strengthening Democracy in Asia-Pacific Region’, which was scheduled for this Sunday. The conference was to be inaugurated by Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, and high court judges, including acting chief justice SJ Vazifdar, were to participate. The cricket match was to be held at the Sector 16 cricket stadium here between the teams of BCPH and lawyers’ delegation. The delegation was also to undertake a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra, Golden Temple in Amritsar, Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan and Gurgaon.