QUANZHOU (China) Call it a bad luck; term it as a bad day, consider it as an trouble inviting move, take as a display of extremely immature diplomacy or see it as an uncalled-for move, inviting uncalled-for embarrassment or say whatever you want to but it was what the Indians experienced here at the opening day of the International Seminar on China’s economic initiative of ‘One Belt and One Road’ that started here yesterday in Quanzhou city of China’s Fujian province with over 200 participants taking part from all over the world.
The seminar started in the most befitting manner with China’s Information Minister, the host of the seminar, delivering a formal speech and thanking the participants for coming to attend the high profile economic and trade related international Conference. This was followed by presentations and speeches by international participants over different matters, pertaining to underscoring the importance of the One Belt and One Road and Maritime Silk Road initiative of China.
The seminar was going on in a very harmonious and intellectual atmosphere. Pakistan’s Consul General to Guangzhou (China) Mr. Babar Amin, in his power point-backed presentation, highlighted the importance of these initiatives for Pakistan China strategic economic cooperation. He used the support of graphics and regional maps to show the direction and route of the One Belt and One Road and the Maritime Silk Road as well as how the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is an integral part of both the initiatives. However, as soon as the presentation, suddenly, out of nowhere, Indian Naval Attaché, Captain Sushant Dam posted at the Indian Embassy Beijing, stood up and sought permission to speak, though he was not even amongst the speakers. The moderator, Mr. Alexander Lukin, Professor at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, politely told him that it comments were no being allowed due to shortage of time. The Indian Naval Attaché, however, again raised hand to speak at the conclusion of the morning session at which, the Moderator allowed him to speak briefly. During his intervention, he asserted that the Pakistan map used in the presentation showed “Kashmir which was an integral part of India and therefore the map and Pakistan’s area shown in it was wrong”. The Consul General Amin, immediately used his ‘Right of Reply’ and strongly refuted the Indian Naval Attaché’s claim. The Consul General stated that “the Pakistan Map as well as the area shown in the presentation was correct”. He added; “Pakistan did not recognize continued illegal Indian occupation of Kashmir which is in violation of India’s own commitments to abide by numerous UN Resolutions on the matter”. The Indian delegate was dump found upon this strong snub and cut a sorry figure. Even the Moderator gave a polite reminder to the Indian delegate that he had picked a wrong Forum to raise this matter, which added further to the embarrassment of the Indian delegate and his fellow companions.
On the other side, the participants from all over the world, who witnessed this episode, were found shocked by the Indian delegate’s immature and irresponsible behavior. Talking to The Daily Mail, at this occasion, many of them termed the Indian move as a big diplomatic debacle for Delhi as by doing so, India itself made the Kashmir an International issue. They were off the view that since India has always been terming Kashmir as a bilateral issue between Delhi and Islamabad and has always been opposing the same being deemed as an International matter, this latest move made Kashmir an international issue as Indians raised at a high profile international Conference. Some of them were of the opinion that since Pakistani delegate did not mention Kashmir in the presentation, it was absolutely irrelevant and illogical for the Indian delegate to highlight it. Some former Arab-African diplomats argued that the Wednesday’s episode put Kashmir issue again in the limelight in global diplomatic scenario.
However, some South Asian and Australian participants took a lighter view of the episode and said it was sort of a Diplomatic World Cup Match between India and Pakistan that was initiated by Indians but won by Pakistanis. “It was sort of a World Cup fixture before the Pakistani and Indian teams are to face each other in the World Cup Cricket match on Sunday”, said a cricket loving participant. It may be mentioned here that both Pakistani and Indian nations are highly charged for the upcoming Cricket World Cup contest that is being played in Australia.
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The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily