Pakistan has blocked the appointment of Jayant Khobragade as India’s chargé d’affaires in Islamabad. It has denied a visa to Khobragade, the Times of India has reported.
After India revoked Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir region into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in August 2019, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with India by expelling Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria. Since then, the Indian mission in Islamabad and the Pakistani mission in New Delhi have been headed by their charge d’affaires.
An Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1995 batch, Khobragade’s name was proposed in June this year. In the same month, India had reduced the staff strength at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi by 50 percent.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is likely to raise the issue in his UNGA address on September 25. The annual session of the UN General Assembly begins September 21.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also address a high-level meeting to mark 75th anniversary of the United Nations. “The Prime Minister’s address to the UN and the vision he outlines will be truly significant, especially on the eve of our entering the UN Security Council,” India’s envoy to the UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti told news agency PTI.
Modi will address this special event through a pre-recorded video statement. The General Debate will commence on September 22 and run through September 29.
The landmark 75th anniversary of the UN comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic raging across the world that has in 2020 so far infected more than 30 million people and will soon reach a grim milestone of over a million deaths.