Pakistan has announced its decision to take part in an international anti-tobacco meet in India, putting an end to speculations that Islamabad may skip the global meet, media reports said.
Fozia Fayyaz, first Secretary in the Pakistan high commission in India, will represent Pakistan at the conference, the Express News quoted Asad Hafeez, director general in the ministry of national health services, regulation and coordination, as saying.
India’s health and family welfare ministry is organising the Seventh Session of the Conference of Parties (COP7) from November 7 to 12 in Noida, near New Delhi, this year.
The five-day conference that India is hosting for the first time has measures to tackle new tobacco-related threats and challenges, including electronic delivery of tobacco products, on its agenda this year.
Till last week, uncertainty prevailed over Pakistan’s participation because of the ongoing tension between the two neighbouring countries.
Later, there was confusion after a statement by Saira Afzal Tarar, Pakistan minister of state for national health services, regulation and coordination, in which she said the Pakistani health ministry officials had not secured visas to attend the conference.
The statement was later denied by Pakistan federal health ministry officials, which reflected a lack of coordination between the Minister and her subordinate staff.
The current tensions between the two countries got worse after a staff member of Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi was detained by Delhi Police for questioning over espionage charges.
The tension intensified after tit-for-tat naming of diplomatic staff by both sides for alleged espionage.