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PoK Leader's Bid to Speak on Kashmir in France Thwarted after India Issues Demarche

Taking note of India’s protest, sources pointed out that the French government informed the National Assembly such a move could have a bearing on Indo-French relations.

Maha Siddiqui | CNN-News18

Updated:October 3, 2019, 11:29 PM IST
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PoK Leader's Bid to Speak on Kashmir in France Thwarted after India Issues Demarche
Representative Image.

New Delhi: As Pakistan continues with its Kashmir propaganda on the global stage, India recently thwarted one such attempt in France.

In late September, India issued a demarche on the French foreign ministry expressing disappointment over a proposed event, related to Kashmir, in the French National Assembly. Plans were afoot to invite Masood Khan, President of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK), as a chief guest to talk to French legislators over the issue.

Taking note of India’s protest, sources pointed out that the French government informed the National Assembly such a move could have a bearing on Indo-French relations. The National Assembly then decided to drop Khan as the chief guest.

The event, organised by the France-Pakistan Friendship Group on September 26, did take place but with Pakistani Ambassador to France Moin-ul-Haque, as per sources.

Interestingly, Haque was named as the next High Commissioner to India before Pakistan decided to downgrade its diplomatic ties with Delhi after the abrogation of Article 370 in August. Pakistan had then decided not to send its high commissioner-designate to New Delhi and had also asked Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria to leave Islamabad.

Meanwhile, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to visit France on October 8 to formally receive the first of the 36 Rafale fighter jets ordered by India from Dassault Aviation. As per reports, Singh may also fly a sortie in a trainer aircraft.

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