A two-member Pakistani team that was supposed to attend a SAARC training programme in Gandhinagar skipped the event amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani inaugurated the three-day seminar-cum-training programme titled ‘application of space technology in monitoring and managing risks’ Wednesday. He also inaugurated SAARC’s disaster management center (SDMC).
“We were expecting them on Tuesday, but they have not reached yet. Though we do not have their confirmed arrival so far… we are expecting them to attend the second day,” said SDMC director Anju Sharma. Sharma added that invitations to SAARC countries, including Pakistan, were sent through external affairs ministry’s SAARC unit.
Sources said there was no confirmation until Tuesday of their participation and that there were no bookings for the Pakistani officials. Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who was in Gandhinagar for the African Development Bank meet, called the absence of the Pakistani delegates unfortunate. “If all other SAARC countries were there, then it is evident that all countries want peace and prosperity,’’ he said.