JK News Today (Commentary)
Delhi has rubbished Pakistan media reports that India and Pakistan were in a race to expel each other’s diplomats because of the tensions between the two countries have escalated due to the violent skirmishes on borders.
This might sound as a note of relief against the backdrop of the deafening and earth-shattering bangs on borders in which both sides have suffered civilian and military casualties, but is that enough. This question has assumed the significance the way a stand off has stepped in between the two South Asian neighbours whose confrontationist mode has disappointed the world.
Both Delhi and Islamabad have charged diplomats of India and Pakistan with “ spying”. Some are “ ISI” agents in Pakistan High Commission in India, and Pakistan has dubbed the Indian diplomats in Indian High Commission as “ RAW “operatives. ISI and RAW are spy agencies of Pakistan and India respectively.
While the security agencies have better knowledge about the background of the diplomats in the host countries, what is troubling is the timing of this expose and tit-for –tat expulsion of them .
Express Tribune newspaper of Pakistan reported on Friday that “ Pakistan and India may temporarily recall their high commissioners in the wake of the latest diplomatic debacle triggered after the cover of certain officials posted in each other’s capitals was revealed by the two sides through media leaks, officials said on Thursday. The paper did not name the officials .”
The fresh slide in ties, which have already been at their lowest point since the attack on an Indian military base in Occupied Kashmir in September, may also lead to a ‘scaling down’ of the strength of diplomatic staff by the two neighbours.
The latest spat started after Indian police last week detained a staff member of Pakistan’s High Commission in New Deli for questioning over espionage charges. Mahmood Akhtar, who was working as a visa officer at the Pakistani High Commission, was later expelled from India.
“However, India, using a statement Delhi police extracted from Akhtar through coercive means, implicated other Pakistani staffers. The identities of at least six such officials were leaked to the Indian media, jeopardising their security. The move prompted Pakistan to withdraw them from New Delhi,” the newspaper said.
In what appeared to be a tit for tat move, Pakistan on Thursday confirmed that eight officials posted in India’s High Commission in Islamabad were agents of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB). The disclosure left New Delhi with no other options but to withdraw the named officials.
This development would help neither side, Delhi and Islamabad must work out restore-the trust diplomacy . There is no escape from this .