A day after his candid remarks on the situation in Kashmir and Balochistan, Indian high commissioner Gautam Bambawale’s meeting with members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce was cancelled at the last minute on Tuesday.
The Karachi chamber’s spokesperson insisted the cancellation was made from the Indian side. Journalists said they were first informed of the meeting on Tuesday afternoon. When many of them reached the venue, they were informed the meeting had been cancelled.
During an interaction at the Karachi Council of Foreign Relations on Monday, the Indian envoy had spoken extensively on the situation in Kashmir and Balochistan against the backdrop of an increase in bilateral tensions. He had also said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “looking forward” to visiting Pakistan for the Saarc Summit in November but officials in New Delhi clarified on Tuesday that a final decision on the visit is yet to be made.
Bambawale also said there were contacts at the operational level between the two governments even while tensions were high. Over the past month-and-a-half, there had been “cordial” interactions between Pakistani and Indian border forces and several meetings of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation had been held, he said.