Around 50 Pakistani students, visiting India at the invitation of an NGO, were sent back on Wednesday after the government advised it against hosting them at a time which was not "appropriate" in the aftermath of 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 on May 1," 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.
The students from Pakistan were scheduled to go on a day-long trip to Agra on Wednesday and participate in an exchange of experiences with Indian students on Thursday at the Pakistan Embassy in New Delhi.
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 old from Pakistan along with their teachers arrived in Delhi on May 1 and were supposed to meet their Indian pen friends and hosts of other programs which had to be cut short.
"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, said in a statement.