Pakistan Cancels Business Forum To Be Held In India On Security Concerns

22/11/2015 1:39 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - SEPTEMBER 13: Abdul Basit, Pakistan High Commissioner to India, at luncheon meeting with High-Level Business Delegation from Pakistan organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on September 13, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Basit asserted that Indo-Pak relations are unique and both the neighbours should forget the past and make a new beginning. Basit said that that it was unfortunate that the two countries have had a chequered history of relations. (Photo by Mohd. Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI-- A two-day meeting of business leaders from India and Pakistan, which was slated to begin from November 30, has been deferred due to security concerns raised by the neighbouring country.

Sources in the Pakistan High Commission said the members of the delegation have raised concerns regarding the security issues keeping in view the controversy around shows by Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali.

The Pakistani delegation had sought an assurance from the Indian government for the safety of their members during their visit here, but did not get any response in this regard from the Indian side as the leaders were making the visit on industry chamber CII's invitation, sources added.

"The India-Pakistan Joint Business Forum meeting was scheduled for the end of this month. But it has been deferred. It may happen after a few months now," an industry source said.

Recently, a music concert of Ghulam Ali was cancelled in Mumbai after protests by the Shiv Sena.

ALSO READ: Banning Ghulam Ali's Music: Where Will This Thuggishness Stop?

Later the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government invited the singer to Delhi. But very recently the news about scrapping the event came. Ali had said the situation was not conducive for music right now.

Sensing a possible agitation, the International Cricket Council (ICC) in October had also pulled out Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar from the India-South Africa ODI match to be played in Mumbai.

In the forum, business leaders from both sides take stock of the progress in all sectors of bilateral trade and investment cooperation.

It has identified ten areas of cooperation which includes agriculture, automotive and engineering, chemical and petrochemicals, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, IT, textiles, healthcare and trade facilitation.

The forum is headed by Sunil Kant Munjal of Hero Corporate Services from India. The Pakistani side is led by Syed Yawar Ali Shah, former CEO of Nestle Pakistan.

India had granted the 'Most Favoured Nation' status to Pakistan way back in 1996, but the neighbouring country has not yet reciprocated.

The bilateral trade between the countries has declined to USD 1.35 billion in 2014-15 from USD 1.84 billion in 2013-14.

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