July 2003 News

Invitation to Kashmiri irks India

6 July 2003
The Dawn
Our Correspondent

WASHINGTON: India has officially protested to the United States for having invited a Kashmiri politician to a State Department-sponsored seminar on Kashmir, diplomatic sources told Dawn here on Sunday. Mehbooba Mufti, who heads the People's Democratic Party in Indian-held Kashmir, had received a personal invitation from Lisa Curtis, a senior adviser at the department's South Asia bureau, which had organized the seminar. Several prominent Pakistani and US analysts participated in the seminar but there was no Indian representation. Even though Ms Mufti supports the Indian position on Kashmir, India was irked by the department's decision to directly invite a Kashmiri politician instead of routing the invitation through the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi. Consequently, India not only prevented Ms Mufti from attending the seminar but also summoned the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in New Delhi, Al Thibault, and issued a demarche saying that the Indian government considered the invitation interference in its internal affairs. [AD]

 

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