Srinagar: The relationship between India and Pakistan sank to new depths with Pakistan deciding to stay away from a global tobacco-control conference in India next week, a media report said today, quoting a government minister.
India is hosting the biennial conference of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the only global treaty to deter tobacco consumption, the report added. Delegates from around 180 countries are expected to attend, according to the report.
“It’s a very important meeting on tobacco, but our visit doesn’t appear feasible due to on-going tensions,” Saira Afzal Tarar, State Minister of Health Sciences Regulation and Coordination, told the news agency.
Pakistani health ministry officials had not yet secured visas to attend the conference, Tarar told the news agency.
Relations between Pakistan and India have soured in recent weeks after New Delhi said it had launched retaliatory “surgical strikes” against militants in Pakistan in the wake of a raid on an Indian army camp that left 19 soldiers dead.
The Pakistani military denied that “surgical strikes” in Pak-administered Kashmir.
The two countries have locked horns over the Kashmir issue since Indian forces stepped up a crackdown against protesters after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by government forces in July.