Amid the growing tensions between India and Pak over the barbaric act of mutilation of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops, India has cancelled the students ‘Exchange for Change’ program organised by a Delhi-based NGO, Routes2Roots.
The NGO had invited 50 students from Pakistan under the exchange program.
The students were sent back Wednesday after the government advised the NGO not to host them at a time which is not “appropriate”.
“An NGO had invited Pakistani school students here. They came to India on the same day when the barbaric and inhuman act of killing and mutilating our soldiers happened. “The ministry advised the NGO that it was not an appropriate time for such exchanges after we learnt that the children had crossed over to India on May 1,” Gopal Baglay, a spokesperson of the MEA, said.
The Pakistani students were scheduled to go on a visit to Agra Wednesday and participate in an exchange of experiences program with Indian students Thursday at the Pakistan Embassy in New Delhi.
Regretting the return of delegation, the NGO said the trip had to shorten and the students have sent back to Lahore.
“Around 50 students aged between 11-15 years along with their teachers arrived in Delhi from Pakistan on May 1 and were supposed to meet their Indian pen friends and hosts of other programs which had to be cut short. “Keeping in view the security and sentiments of fellow Indians the delegation has been sent back to Lahore safely,” PTI quoted Rakesh Gupta and Tina Vachani, founders of Routes2Roots NGO.
In October last year, a similar programme by the NGO was cancelled after the announcement of surgical strike by India along the LoC.
(With inputs from PTI)