New Delhi: Muslim Rashtriya Manch, an organisation affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), has withdrawn its invitation to the Pakistan High Commissioner for its annual Iftar party scheduled for July 2 in the wake of a terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pampore town that left eight CRPF personnel dead.
The development was confirmed by news agency ANI.
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 28, 2016
The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba had claimed responsibility for the attack on the Central Reserve Police Force convoy on Saturday, the highest single-incident casualty in three years in the militancy-hit state.
While the Centre has hinted at Pakistan’s involvement in the attack, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) is reportedly upset that Islamabad has failed to “reciprocate” New Delhi’s friendly overtures.
On Sunday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh without naming Pakistan said, “attempt is being made by terrorists and our neighbouring country to destabilise India.”
However, Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit’s remarks on the Pampore attack had left the RSS and MRM fuming.
Basit reportedly told reporters on Sunday at the iftar, the evening meal for breaking fast, hosted at the Pakistan High Commission, that Kashmir is a disputed issue between both the countries when was he asked for his reaction to the attack.
“We hope we will sit and discuss the issue and find a solution. Let’s have the iftar party and enjoy ourselves,” he was quoted as saying.
“We wanted to make a fresh start. We thought we could forge ties on the basis of cultural and social values, but we are deeply disappointed by Basit’s reaction to the killing of our security forces. We have decided not to invite Pakistan to our Iftaar,” Mohd Afzal of the MRM was quoted as saying by 'Hindustan Times'.
In what was seen an attempt to redeem its anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan image, the right wing body had last week invited the Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit for Iftar on 2 July. According to reports, ambassadors of several other countries were also invited.