India has pulled out of an international conference on transfer of technology being hosted by Pakistan in the latest sign of heightened tensions between the two neighbours.
Ministry of Science and Technology officials said New Delhi initially confirmed its participation in the three-day session of the Governing Council of a UN affiliated institute that promotes transfer of technology from small and medium sized enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region.
The conference of the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) kicked off in Islamabad on Monday.
"Just hours before the meeting was to start, the Indian delegation cancelled its trip saying their head delegate had contracted food poisoning," an official of the ministry told the media here.
Bangladesh and Iran were the other countries who did not participate in the conference. China, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Samoa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam attended the meeting.
The council, which meets once a year, advises on the future and reviews the working of the centre located in India under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The meeting will approve projects to be undertaken in 2017. Out of the total five projects, India has submitted one titled "Feed the Future India".
The project is aimed at enhancing food security in selected least-developed countries through the establishment of an agricultural innovation accelerator platform in India with USAID funding of $1.5 million.
India had earlier in November boycotted the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) that was to be held in Islamabad.