Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Pakistan calls back envoy from India over 'harassment incidents'

Pakistan calls back envoy from India over 'harassment incidents'

India and Pakistan are alleging harassment of their diplomats in the two countries, with sources reported that, "India sent a note verbale to Pakistan on Friday with seven points highlighting in chronological order incidents of Indian diplomats being harassed".

The annual Urs is scheduled to start on March 19 and continue till March 29. Pakistan was invited but it turned down.

India will be hosting the second WTO meeting to discuss on various issues and challenges relating to the multilateral trading system.

The sources in the foreign ministry revealed that the situation has altered following "repeated harassment of families of diplomats" and it was made a decision to give a miss to the invitation.

The diplomatic stand-off between India and Pakistan this week has escalated, with Pakistani diplomatic sources saying that "Pakistan was pulling out of the WTO ministerial meet in India due to the current situation". But there is very little room for relations to improve if both countries fail to respect diplomatic protocol and ensure the safety and security of the other country's diplomats and their families.

It was India , which first withdrew its envoy as a token of protest over Pakistan's failure to stop alleged cross-border terrorism.

Pakistan has rejected the charges and alleged that even the children of its diplomats stationed in Delhi were not being spared.

"Children have never been harassed even when two countries have had the worst of relationship", the official pointed out. "The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had downplayed the move as "routine" assured that "incidents of alleged harassment will no doubt be investigated".

Pakistan had also accused the Indian officials of intimidating the children of a senior diplomat while they were on their way to school.

Then there was the matter of power supply and gas being shut to a residential complex in Islamabad for Indian diplomats, followed by door bells being rung late at night by both sides in a tit-for-tat.

The daily further quoted the unnamed official of the Foreign Office, as saying that Islamabad has decided not to send High Commissioner Mahmood back to New Delhi until the overall situation regarding treatment of diplomatic staff and their families is resolved.

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