New Delhi: Pakistan will attend a three-day international conference being organised by Election Commission of India (ECI) in New Delhi this week.
According to reports, Pakistan will however not be sending a senior representative to the event. Earlier, Shakeel Ahmed Baloch, member, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was scheduled to attend the conference, but now, Altaf Ahmed, director (public relations and political finance), ECP, will be present in his place.
ECI officials though claimed that the last minute change had taken place because Baloch needed to focus on a local election back in Pakistan.
But there was confusion even regarding this. Earlier, the ECI officials said Pakistan would not be attending the event, but then issued a correction.
The first-ever global conference on voter education is being organised by the ECI in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the main purpose of exchanging the experiences of election management bodies. The conference is being attended by representatives of 27 countries.
The conference will discuss several topics including electoral literacy and enhanced participation by special categories of voters. The ECI will also launch an NRI survey-cum-competition with the aim of gathering useful data and engaging NRIs about their voting eligibility and rights.
India-Pakistan relations have soured ever since Pakistan-based terrorists killed 19 soldiers in an ambush in Uri sector of Kashmir last month. India responded with surgical strikes inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). India has also sought to isolate Pakistan over its support for cross-border terrorism, pulling out of the SAARC summit in Islamabad (which led to several other nations also pulling out) and labelling Pakistan a terrorist state at the United Nations.