ISLAMABAD: Pakistan today said Karachi Chambers of Commerce and Industries, which cancelled Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale's public engagement at the last minute, is an independent body, a day after India summoned Pakistani envoy to lodge a strong protest over the incident.
Asked about Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit being summoned by Ministry of External Affairs, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said, "Yes, he was called in by the Indian Foreign Office and given a demarche. We are gathering more information related to this episode. However, let me point out that Karachi Chambers of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) is an independent body."
Basit was called to the South Block by MEA Secretary Sujata Mehta, who conveyed government's concern over discourtesy shown to Bambawale, whose address at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce was called off without any reason being given.
Bambawale was told about the cancellation just half an hour before the event, invite for which was received and accepted by him a couple of weeks ago.
India and Pakistan are engaged in a fierce verbal battle over terrorism and the situation in Kashmir. While India has accused Pakistan of supporting cross border terrorism, Pakistan, on its part, has been trying to internationalise Kashmir, alleging New Delhi of human rights violations.