Masood Khan was invited by the French Parliament but not allowed by the government (Image: Twitter @Masood_Khan)
In another diplomatic blow to Pakistan, India has managed to block an event of 'president' of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) Masood Khan in in the lower House of French Parliament. Pakistan was trying hard to arrange a meeting of the 'PoK president' at the French National Assembly. However, following a demarche issued to French Foreign Ministry by the Indian mission in Paris, the Khan was barred from attending the event.
Pakistan was trying to facilitate the event at the National Assembly on September 24. However, the Indian Embassy issued a demarche to the French Embassy making it clear that any invitation to Masood will be violation of India’s sovereign rights.
It was also reported that French government had indicated France-Pakistan Friendship Group to refrain from any association with Masood Khan at the event.
Masood Khan was invited by the French Parliament as chief guest but when he was not allowed by the government, Pakistan’s envoy in France Moin-Ul Haque spoke on his behalf.
India and France share strong diplomatic relations as the former has been a continuous source of support for India. It has always backed India over Jammu and Kashmir and was among the first batch of nations which supported the designation of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. France played a crucial role in blocking China’s efforts of internationalising the Kashmir issue in a closed-door informal session.
India and Pakistan should resolve the Kashmir issue bilaterally and no third party should “interfere or incite” violence in the region, French President Emmanuel Macron had said. Speaking after Macron, Prime Minister Modi said the relationship between India and France is not based on any selfishness, but on solid ideals of 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity'.