Monday, 16 July, 2018

Pak diplomatic row: India issues 13th Note Verbale to Pak on harassment

Pakistan       by Haider Ali Sindhu | Published Pakistan by Haider Ali Sindhu | Published
Scott Davis | 19 March, 2018, 00:27

The latest diplomatic row was, apparently, triggered by actions by Pakistani security agencies that affected work on the residential complex India is building for its staff within the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad.

"We can not send our commerce minister to India in the current situation and India has been informed about it", according to a source quoted by BS.

Trade ministers of over 50 nations, including the United States and China, have been invited by India to discuss issues related to agriculture and services.

Media reports suggested that the Pakistani high commissioner to India has been called back to Islamabad because the country's diplomats in New Delhi have lately been subjected to several instances of harassment by the local administration and people in violation of all diplomatic norms.

"Our high commissioner will not return to India anytime soon", said a senior Pakistan foreign office official to The Express Tribune.

Official sources in the foreign ministry said Mahmood will brief top officials about the situation.

Diplomatic sources said that "nobody will attend the WTO meeting" in Delhi from Islamabad.




The ministry's statement further said: "In the absence of ministerial guidance at the Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC 11) that took place from 10 to 13 December 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, it is hoped that the New Delhi meeting will provide an opportunity for ministers to explore in greater detail the options on different issues for re-invigorating the WTO".

Pakistani officials even released a video of such "harassment", in which a white auto is seen blocking their diplomat's vehicle in Delhi and people on motorcycles abusing and filming the occupants.

"It was Pakistan's decision to pull out at the last minute, and the Indian side could not comment on it", an Indian official was quoted as saying by NDTV. New Delhi alleged that its diplomats were facing harassment and being prevented from discharging their duties in Islamabad.

Indian officials said that the standoff was months old, when in May past year, Pakistani government "intermittently blocked Indian government websites in Pakistan" and "visa seekers faced trouble".

New Delhi too played down the issue and clarified that it was not an official recall.

"Children have never been harassed even when two countries have had the worst of relationship", he said.

Upon further insistence, Pakistan hinted at withdrawing the families of its diplomatic staff if the culprit behind bullying and harassing the diplomats and their family is not punished.

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