MEA counters Pakistan’s charge of harassment, downplays Islamabad’s ‘recall’ of diplomat

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New Delhi | Updated: March 15, 2018 4:25:59 PM

In the midst of the recent diplomatic tussle between India and Pakistan, Islamabad called back its High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood for consultations after alleged incidents of harassment of its diplomatic staff in New Delhi. Indian Ministry of External Affairs responds to the accusations.

India-Pakistan Diplomatic Tussle: Pakistan calls back its envoy to India Sohail Mahmood over alleged harassment incidentsIndia-Pakistan Diplomatic Tussle: Pakistan calls back its envoy to India Sohail Mahmood over alleged harassment incidents

In the midst of the recent diplomatic tussle between India and Pakistan, Islamabad, today, called back its High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood for consultations after alleged incidents of harassment of its diplomatic staff in New Delhi. Pakistani media reports claimed that the envoy has been called back home for an unspecified time. The move by the Pakistani government comes after Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal alleged that the Indian government has not taken measures to safeguard Pakistani diplomats and their families in India. Complaining that ‘no positive action’ has been taken by India in the wake of its complaints, Islamabad said in a statement that it had called envoy Sohail Mahmood for “consultations”.

Raveesh Kumar, Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, India, in a press conference said, “We take note of their concerns. We are looking into these issues. We will not specify the issues taken up in front of the media. We do not wish to respond to this through media but through established diplomatic channels. Our issues haven’t been resolved in Islamabad.” Reacting to the development, the Indian government has said that calling back envoys for consultations is a routine process and there is nothing unusual in this. He also said that India respects the Vienna Convention of 1961 and Pakistan must do the same.

Notably, a day ago, Pakistan had summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh over the alleged harassment of officials and families of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi and said such “despicable incidents” indicate “complicit unwillingness” of the Indian government to protect foreign diplomats.

Earlier, New Delhi and Islamabad traded harassment claims of their High Commissions. While Islamabad complained that its diplomats were being subjected to different kinds of harassment in India, New Delhi, on the other hand, alleged that several Indian mission staffers in Islamabad have been severely “harassed and intimidated”.

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