Srinagar: Fifty Pakistani schoolchildren visiting India from across the border were on Wednesday sent back following a government advisory, a media report said. The incident came two days after two soldiers were allegedly mutilated by the Pakistani army in Poonch sector along the Line of Control (LoC), a claim Pakistan denied.

Invited by a Delhi-based NGO, the children had arrived in India along with their teachers on May 1, the same day when the alleged mutilations took place on LoC, the media report said.

“This is not an appropriate time for such exchanges’ was the advice conveyed to the NGO by the Centre,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay was quoted by the report as saying.

Besides a trip to Agra, the Pakistani children were to meet their Indian pen-friends and attend a host of programmes, the report said further.

The NGO, hosting the exchange programme since 2004, said the visit was cut short due to flared diplomatic tensions and security concerns, the report said.

“Keeping in view the security aspect and the sentiments of fellow Indians, the delegation has been sent back to Lahore safely,” NGO founder Rakesh Gupta was quoted by the report as saying.

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