Refuting speculation that the Pakistani delegation was asked by the Gujarat government to cut short their visit because of increased hostilities at the Line of Control (LoC), Principal Secretary (Industries) Maheshwar Sahoo said that the they attended the pre-event meet as per their programme.
"I strongly refute reports saying that Pakistani delegates could not participate in Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2013. The delegation took part in a buyer-seller meet, as part of VGS, in Ahmedabad during January 9 and 10," Sahoo said in a statement issued tonight.
"This buyer-seller meet was organised by the Chemical Export Promotion Council as part of the VGS pre-event and the Pakistani delegation came to participate," he added.
Though the Pakistani delegation had attended the pre-event meet, they did not participate in the main events held in Gandhinagar during January 11 and 12, he said.
"After the buyer-seller meet, they had left for Surat as part of their planned itinerary," he said.
Earlier, Principal Secretary (Home) SK Nanda had said that "Visas issued to the delegation were only till Ahmedabad, while some members had visas for Surat and Vapi also. As a result, the delegation could not attend the Vibrant Gujarat Summit".
Visas to Pakistani citizens are issued by India city-wise and to destinations they wish to go, unlike in other instances where they are issued for a countrywide visit.
Pakistan was among the countries invited by the state government for the biennial business meet. The invitation was extended not for participation in the capacity of a nation, but the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry had confirmed its visit as an association.
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government clarified Sunday night that the 11-member Pakistani delegation participated in a pre-event buyer-seller meet here as per their scheduled programme.
First Published: Sunday, January 13, 2013, 23:24