Pakistan unlikely to send High Commissioner to India after 'harassment'

19 March, 2018, 00:27 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • India and Pakistan flags at the world culture festival in New Delhi in 2016. The alleged tit-for-tat harassment between the two countries reflects a broader deterioration of India Pakistan relations in recent years

Indian diplomats and officials in Pakistan have been facing constant harassment at the hands of unknown people.

However, Indian sources state the standoff between the two countries started past year after Pakistani government "intermittently blocked Indian government websites in Pakistan" and "visa seekers faced trouble", which was followed by reports of harassment of Indian diplomats in Pakistan's Islamabad who were facing power and gas supply issues along with ringing of doorbells by unknown persons in the middle of the night.

"Another Note Verbale was sent today by our High Commission in Islamabad to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan protesting against the intimidation and harassment of Indian High Commission officials", a source said.

"We have asked the Pakistan Government to investigate these incidents", government sources said after New Delhi on Saturday issued a note verbale to Pakistan about the harassment of Indian officials.

While the WTO meeting would be a multilateral engagement, India's decision to invite Pakistan commerce minister Pervaiz Malik for the event is expected to liquefy the relationship. An Indian officer and his family were followed by bike-borne men on Thursday, March 15, in Islamabad.

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Indian Government sources on Sunday said, "Another Note Verbale was sent on Friday, 18 March, by our High Commission in Islamabad to the ministry of foreign affairs of Pakistan protesting against the intimidation and harassment of Indian High Commission officials".

"Website of Indian HC continues to be intermittently blocked causing inconvenience & affecting the normal functioning of the Mission".

Pakistan had initially accepted the invitation, but sources in Pakistan foreign ministry said the situation has changed after "repeated harassment of families of diplomats" and it was made a decision to skip the invitation, reported Business Standard (BS).

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

While of unfriendliness between India and Pakistan can been seen nearly daily in border areas, and Indian residential complex in Islamabad, sources reported about Pakistan decision to block access to all Indian government websites (gov.in) in May 2017.

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