During her weekly media briefing, the foreign office spokesperson asserted that “We are concerned about the possibility of India seeking to create some distraction during forthcoming high-profile visits to the region.
The concern showed by the foreign office reflects the historical distractions or tragic events often caused during high-profile visits to Pakistan or in India.
High-profile visits to Pakistan in February
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is visiting Pakistan on two-days official visit on Feb 13 and Feb 14. He has addressed the joint session of Parliament in which he has reiterated Turkey’s support for Pakistan on Kashmir issue and has also ensured Pakistan for support getting it off the FATF’s grey list.
A New Partnership for Solidarity”, starting from Feb,17 in Islamabad. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) along with prime minister Imran Khan will co-host the conference
The next visit by the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres is due on Feb,16 for a four days visit and he will be accompanied by the 14-member UN delegation. He will attend a two-days refugee conference “40 years of Afghan Refugees Presence in Pakistan: A New Partnership for Solidarity”, starting from Feb,17 in Islamabad. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) along with prime minister Imran Khan will co-host the conference.
Meanwhile, the global financial watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), will also visit Pakistan from Feb,16 to Feb 21 to review Pakistan’s progress on the commitments made for overcoming gaps in its counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering regimes during its plenary in Paris from Feb 16 to 21.
Moreover, US President Donald Trump is also scheduled to visit India from Feb 24 to 25.
Previous mishaps allegedly carried out by India
Many incidences have happened in India during a high profile visit to the country or region, or during a period when a high profile event has occured in the world which ‘enables’ India to sell its narrative against Pakistan or against Kashmiri independence to the world.
Among these includes the visit of the American president Bill Clinton in March 2000 to India. during the President’s visit to India, the Chittisinghpura massacre happened.
Wearing Indian Army uniform, the killers arrived into the village in two groups at separate ends of the village where the two Sikh gurdwaras were located, while the villagers had been celebrating the Hola Mahalla festival. They ordered them to line up in front of the gurdwaras and opened fire killing thirty-six Sikh community people. The responsibility of the attacks was held to the Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Tayba, to this day no proof has been given by India.
Later after September 11 2001 attacks happened in the USA, the USA turned to Pakistan for help once again, in need of support for its attack on Osama bin Ladin in Afghanistan. India which saw the two countries coming close as against its strategic interest, suddenly the Indian parliament got attacked on 13 December 2001. Once again India claimed that the perpetrators allegedly belonged to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (who denied any involvement) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), once again no evidence to this effect has been produced to date. Afzal guru a Kashmiri was arrested and finally executed in 2013.
More recently, the Pulwama attack occured on 14 February 2019, the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman who was due to arrive to Pakistan had to delay his visit. BJP struggling in the polls looked unlikely to win in 2018, losing major state elections suddenly saw a revival in fortunes after the government conducted the Balakot strike.
Considering these tumultuous and shattering mishaps historically, there are due concerns as told by the foreign office regarding any distraction during the high profile visits to Pakistan.