Amid the heightened tension between India and Pakistan over the Parliamentary decisions on Jammu and Kashmir, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton are reportedly reconsidering their scheduled visit to Pakistan later this year.
As per reports citing information from Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Royal Couple’s visit is unlikely to take place.
‘WillKat’ was set to be the first from the Royal family to visit Pakistan after Prince William’s parents, Prince of Wales, Charles and Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla had done so in 2006. Previously, Queen Elizabeth II, twice (1961 and 1997) and Princess Diana (1991) had also made visits to Pakistan. Princess Diana was then welcomed by now-Prime Minister Imran Khan.
On June 30 earlier this year, the Kensington Palace had announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were planning to head to Pakistan.
At that time, Pakistan’s ambassador to Britain, Nafees Zakaria had expressed delight, "Government and the people of Pakistan warmly welcome the announcement of the Royal visit.”
"People of Pakistan cherish & fondly recall visits of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II to Pakistan during 1961 and 1997," he continued.
Zakaria added, "Upcoming Royal visit reflects the importance UK attaches to Pakistan. Both countries enjoy historical links and wish to strengthen them further."
Both the houses of the Indian Parliament (Rajya Sabha on August 5 and Lok Sabha on August 6) passed the decisions to revoke Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the J&K Reorganisation Bill, that bifurcated Jammu & Kashmir into Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Since then, the tension between the two countries has been rising. While Indian film associations called for a ban on Pakistan artists, Pakistan retaliated by banning Indian films and even raiding video stores selling Indian film CDs.