Pakistan to take up matter of returned exchange students through diplomatic channels: FO

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday announced that it would take up the matter of the return of Pakistani students and teachers visiting India through diplomatic channels.

A group of 50 Pakistani students and teachers who were visiting India at the invitation of an non-governmental office were sent back from India a day earlier after receiving threats from Hindu extremist organisation Shiv Sena.

Dehli-based NGO Rou­tes2Roots had invited the Pakistani students as part of their student “Exchange for Change” Programme.

Keeping in view the safety of the students, Indian officials had advised the NGO to send the students back and termed the current situation ‘unfavourable’ for an exc­hange programme. They escorted the students to the Wagah border amid tight security.

FO Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria today said, “In India, growing incidents of intolerance, extremism and terrorism have attracted the world’s attention… India’s hostile policy towards Pakistan, and persecution of religious minorities including Muslims, Christians and others within India have been noted by the International community with concern.”

“Hindu extremist organisations are involved while the government is watching as a silent spectator,” he claimed.

Talking about taking the matter up with India, Zakaria assured that “Pakistan always raises its concerns wherever warranted.”

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