RSS-affliate, Muslim Rashtriya Manch, drops Pak envoy from iftar event


A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliate has decided not to invite the Pakistan high commissioner for its annual iftar scheduled for July 2 in the wake of a terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pampore town that left eight CRPF personnel dead.

The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba claimed responsibility for the attack on the Central Reserve Police Force convoy, the highest single-incident casualty in three years in the militancy-hit state.

While the Centre has hinted at Pakistan’s involvement in the attack, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) is peeved that Islamabad has failed to “reciprocate” New Delhi’s friendly overtures.

On Sunday, Union home minister Rajnath Singh without naming Pakistan said, “attempt is being made by terrorists and our neighbouring country to destabilise India.”

However, it is Abdul Basit’s reaction to the news of the ambush that seems to have precipitated the move.

Basit reportedly told reporters on Sunday at the iftar, the evening meal for breaking fast, hosted at the Pakistan high commission, that Kashmir is a disputed issue between both the countries when was he asked for his reaction to the attack.

“We hope we will sit and discuss the issue and find a solution. Let’s have the iftar party and enjoy ourselves,” he was quoted as saying.

Basit’s statement has left the Sangh fuming.

“We wanted to make a fresh start. We thought we could forge ties on the basis of cultural and social values, but we are deeply disappointed by Basit’s reaction to the killing of our security forces. We have decided not to invite Pakistan to our Iftaar,” Mohd Afzal of the MRM told Hindustan Times.

The MRM is echoing the RSS’s sentiment that Pakistan cannot be trusted.

“When former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee went to Lahore, it was followed by the Kargil war, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Lahore it was followed by Pathankot attack, this shows Pakistan won’t change,” Afzal said.

MRM’s initiative to invite representatives of 140 foreign missions for iftar at the Parliament House annexe is being seen as an attempt by the right wing outfit to reach out to Muslims. A similar exercise was carried out last year as well.


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