J K News Today

Jammu, March 15

Pakistan on Thursday called home its high commissioner Sohail Mahmood for a meeting to discuss the alleged harassment of its Delhi-based diplomat, foreign office spokesman in Islamabad said.

Spokesman Muhammad Faisal said that India failed to take notice of the increasing incidents of intimidation.

“Our High Commissioner in New Delhi has been asked to come to Islamabad for consultations,” he said.

Faisal claimed that the Indian government had not taken measures to safeguard Pakistani diplomats and their families in India, adding that the Pakistani government lodged protests over the matter with the Indian deputy High Commissioner as well as India’s external affairs ministry, media reports quoting Pakistan foreign office said.

Responding to complaints by Islamabad, New Delhi assured last week that “India makes all efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for diplomats to work in”. It added the Indian officials had also faced “harassment” last year in Pakistan but they chose to deal with it through “quiet and persistent diplomacy”.

Indian officials, on condition of anonymity, have pointed to a series of incidents allegedly indicating harassment of Indian diplomats in Islamabad — forcibly stopping high commission vehicles, hampering the work of a residential project, threatening a contractor who maintains the Indian chancery building.

Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported on March 11 that a demarche was issued to the Indian high commission in Islamabad and the external affairs ministry in Delhi in which Pakistan threatened to pull out the families of diplomats from India.

“It is becoming difficult for the Pakistani diplomats posted in India to keep their families with them due to increase in harassment incidents,” the newspaper quoted a source as saying.