Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said it would take up with India the issue of about 50 students being sent back following the beheading of two Indian soldiers and criticised New Delhi for being "a silent spectator".
Delhi-based NGO Routes2Roots had invited the Pakistani students as part of their student "Exchange for Change" Programme.
They were sent back yesterday after the government advised the NGO against hosting them, saying the time was not "appropriate" for such exchanges after the beheading of Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh and BSF Head Constable Prem Sagar by Pakistan's Border Action Team (BAT) on May 1.
Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria blamed hardliners for India's move to send back students and said, "Hindu extremist organisations are involved while the government is watching as a silent spectator."
"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."
He said Pakistan would take up the matter with the Indian government.
"Pakistan always raises its concerns wherever warranted," he said.