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India bars 2 Pakistani diplomats from attending literary festival

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NEW DELHI - The long-standing hostility between India and Pakistan has extended to a literary festival, with New Delhi refusing to allow two Pakistani diplomats from attending the event.

The two New Delhi-based Pakistani diplomats had sought permission from India's External Affairs ministry to visit the historic city of Jaipur to attend a popular literary festival held there annually.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Friday that denial of permission did not specifically have anything to do with the festival but was a "coincidence."

Several noted Pakistani writers are participating in the five-day festival which brings together tens of thousands of literature enthusiasts and writers.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since they won independence from Britain in 1947. India has also been hit by terror attacks by militants trained in Pakistan, allegedly with the support of the Pakistani military.

Indian officials say all diplomats need official approval from India's External Affairs Ministry to travel out of New Delhi.

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