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India advises against travel to Pakistan

India’s External Affairs Ministry (MEA) has advised that it is unsafe for Indian citizens to travel to Pakistan.

The government has increased pressure on Pakistan amid reports of the movement of Pakistani troops to the border with India. New Delhi has urged the US, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia to use their influence to convince Islamabad to dismantle the county’s infrastructure of terrorism.

The actual advisory issued by the Indian government stated: “it would be unsafe for Indians to travel or be in Pakistan.”

External Affairs issued the warning after Pakistani media reported that Indian nationals, who are “suspected” to be involved in the Lahore blast, had been taken into custody. Anand Sharma, Minister of State for External Affairs, is calling Pakistan’s claim “hogwash”, and added that it was a pro-Taliban group that had claimed responsibility for the blast.

A spokesperson for the MEA said: “Since it has also been reported in the Pak media yesterday that the senior police officer in Lahore was unaware of the arrest in his city, it seems this is the work of other agencies in Pakistan that operate outside the law and civilian control.”

India’s External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, spoke with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jeichi and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday on the matter, and with Iran Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Friday, along with meeting Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal. The minister stressed that India was dissatisfied over the “token action” taken by Pakistan.

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