Published: 03rd May 2017
Bad Exchange: After Indian soldiers beheaded, 50 Pakistani students who were visiting India at the invitation of an NGO, sent back
These students from Pakistan who are between the age of eleven and fifteen were scheduled to go on a day-long trip to Agra and meet their Indian pen friends have been sent back to Lahore
Around 50 Pakistani students, visiting India at the invitation of an NGO, were sent back after the government had advised against hosting them at a time which was not appropriate in the aftermath of the beheading of two Indian soldiers. "An NGO had invited Pakistani school students here. They came to India on the same day when the barbaric and inhuman act of killing and mutilating our soldiers happened. "The ministry advised the NGO that it was not an appropriate time for such exchanges after we learnt that the children had crossed over to India," Gopal Baglay, a spokesperson of the MEA, said. Routes2Roots, a Delhi-based NGO, had invited 50 students from Pakistan as part of their Student 'Exchange for Change' Program.
Keeping in view the security and sentiments of fellow Indians the delegation has been sent back to Lahore safely
Rakesh Gupta and Tina Vachani, founders of Routes2Roots
The students from Pakistan were scheduled to go on a day-long trip to Agra and participate in an exchange of experiences with Indian students at the Pakistan Embassy here. Expressing regret over the return of the delegation, Routes2Roots said that the trip had to be shortened and the students and teachers have been sent back to Lahore. Around 50 students aged between 11-15 years along with their teachers arrived in Delhi from Pakistan and were supposed to meet their Indian pen friends and hosts of other programs which had to be cut short.
In October last year, a similar programme by the NGO was cancelled after the announcement of the surgical strike by India along the LoC in September. "Even then as a precautionary measure we cancelled the exchange programme and now the same thing has recurred. If things go well, we will again bring the students, possibly within a month or two," Rakesh added.