There will be no representation from Pakistan at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, 2019, said Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday. When asked if Pakistanis are expected to turn up at the summit, Rupani told mediapersons, “Nobody is coming. There was one discussion, but no delegation from Pakistan is coming.” He, however, did not elaborate on it further.
The Indian Express had reported earlier that about seven business chambers from different parts of Pakistan were invited for a Global Conclave of International Chambers that is being held as part of the summit. The representation from Pakistan was among the 52 delegations that confirmed to attend the summit.
The statement from Rupani comes a day after Gujarat unit of Shiv Sena wrote a letter to him, objecting to the business delegations coming to Gujarat from an “enemy country”. Ashok Sharma, head of Shiv Sena (Central Gujarat), had demanded that invites sent to Pakistani business chambers be revoked with immediate effect. In his letter, he said that Pakistan has been involved in terrorism, ceasefire violations and killing of Indian soldiers on the border. He also questioned if sending such invites could be considered “anti-national”. The three-day summit is set to begin from January 18.
State government officials in the recent past have also tried to shift the blame of sending the invites to Pakistan on GCCI, which is the official “state partner” of the Gujarat government for the Vibrant Gujarat summit.
However last week, while briefing mediapersons about the preparations for the summit, Gujarat chief secretary J N Singh had welcomed the initiative of sending invites to Pakistani business chambers. “During the Vibrant summit, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) made a proposal to invite international chambers of commerce from different countries. We agreed. When chambers of commerce from the world are being invited, Pakistan is one of them. They have extended invitations and Gujarat government has not given invites,” Singh had said.
Meanwhile, PTI reported that Pakistan’s industry members have not got visas to travel to India. “Upon our invitation to chamber of commerce in Pakistan, we had received travel plan of a 13-member delegation. But today (Wednesday), we received a communication from them, saying they have cancelled their India visit as they have not got visas,” PTI quoted GCCI president Jaymin Vasa as saying.
“Our bilateral business with Pakistan at present is going on without any (government) interference. We have good business with Pakistan in sectors such as chemical, dyestuff, pharmaceutical and cotton yarn,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)