Pakistan delegation not attending international conference

December 2nd, 2008 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) Pakistan and some Southeast Asian countries have, in the wake of the Mumbai terror strike, cancelled their participation in the two-day Asian Regional Cooperation Conference (ARCC) on heritage conservation and tourism, which began here Tuesday. “The past few days of terror have certainly impacted the participation in the conference. At the last minute over two-dozen cancellations were called in. The three experts from Pakistan did not arrive either and many others from Southeast Asia, specially those flying in from Bangkok airport, have not come,” Surendra Kumar, advisor on international relations, INTACH, told IANS.

Thai anti-government protesters have stormed the Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok, disrupting flight movements.

The Dec 2-4 conference by INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) is aimed specifically at Asian participation. Around 200 delegates were to attend from over 20 countries, including three from Pakistan.

“We were looking forward to the visit, especially of Ali Arif, secretary of tourism of Pakistan, for a session on heritage tourism… The delegates had registered much earlier - tickets were booked, but at the last minute yesterday we got calls and e-mails stating the cancellations,” Kumar added.

The schedules and sessions in four areas - Heritage Management, Conservation of Art Heritage, Heritage Education and Heritage Tourism - during the conference have not been affected, an official said

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