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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Pakistan keeps Indian delegation waiting at border post then turns around and blames India

KL Gujar, deputy director at the Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) in Jodhpur refuted the Pakistani version and said the Indian delegation led by him waited for about 45 minutes at the zero point in Munabao but Pakistani rangers didn’t show up for the meeting.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2019 20:12 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
Mukesh Mathrani
Hindustan Times, Barmer
Indian delegation waited for about 45 minutes at the zero point in Munabao but the Pakistani rangers didn’t turn up.
Indian delegation waited for about 45 minutes at the zero point in Munabao but the Pakistani rangers didn’t turn up.(HT Photo)
         

Pakistan skipped a meeting with Indian officials called to discuss the problem of locusts from across the border destroying crops in Rajasthan and blamed India instead for keeping their contingent waiting.

Pakistan authorities wrote an email to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations that coordinates global locust control efforts, claiming the Indian officials did not turn up for the schedule meeting near Munabao border post on Wednesday

KL Gujar, deputy director at the Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) in Jodhpur refuted the Pakistani version and said the Indian delegation led by him waited for about 45 minutes at the zero point in Munabao but Pakistani rangers didn’t show up for the meeting.

“BSF personnel waited for about 45 minutes from 9.30 am to 10.15 am at the zero point with yellow flags but nobody from Pakistan responded to them. After which they returned back,” said Gujar.

He said BSF personnel even blew whistle and tried to contact Pakistani rangers from the watchtower but in vain.

“Despite getting no response from the Pakistani rangers, the Indian delegation waited there for two hours after which they returned back,” Gujar added.

Deputy inspector general of BSF in Barmer sector Gurupal Singh confirmed Gujar’s account.

“Our jawans waited there at zero line for about 45 minutes but did not get any response from Pakistan after which they returned back,” Singh said, adding that BSF had sent a detailed report to the higher authorities.

Pakistan’s counter claim on the issue came to light after FAO’s senior locust forecasting officer, Keith Cressman -- the official coordinator assigned to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran-- informed the Indian authorities of an email by Islamabad alleging Indian officials didn’t turn for the meeting with the Pakistani delegation.

Reacting to Pakistani claims, Gujar said he had submitted photographic evidence of his team’s visit to the zero line and that BSF officials had also sent a detailed report to their Delhi headquarters.

The external affairs ministry has apprised the UN about the Indian version of events.

Pakistan has scaled down bilateral ties in protest of India’s decision to take away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcate it into two union territories.