India issues note verbale after High Commission officials 'aggressively followed' in Pakistan

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
Why are late night bells ringing for top diplomats in India and Pakistan
Author

19 March, 2018

Yesterday, India gave Pakistan a note verbale through its high commission in Islamabad, specifically mentioning two incidents of harassment.

This is second incident of such a kind for Indian diplomats living there in which they were intimidated and harassed over the last three days, Foreign Ministry sources said in New Delhi. "We can not send our commerce minister to India when they are harassing our diplomats", a senior government official told The Nation.

Islamabad's decision came in the backdrop of India issuing another note verbale - a form of written diplomatic protest - to Pakistan on the alleged harassment of Indian High Commission officials on Saturday.

The Indo-Pak diplomat harassment row continues to worsen, with two more cases of harassment of Indian diplomats in Islamabad on Sunday following which India issued another note verbale - the 13th one this year on the matter-to Pakistan.

Mahmood arrived a day after the Foreign Office spokesman said that he was being summoned for consultation "due to non-stop harassment of families of the diplomats".

"It was Pakistan's decision to pull out at the last minute, and the Indian side could not comment on it", NDTV quoting an Indian official said".

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They alleged that the website of the Indian high commission continued to be "intermittently blocked causing inconvenience and affecting the normal functioning of the mission".

The Pakistan Foreign Ministry claimed that the staff and their families have been facing "harassment, intimidation and outright violence" from Indian state agencies in recent weeks.

The Express Tribune reported that primarily it was thought he would return to India following consultations with authorities.

Dr Faisal denied New Delhi's allegation that similar incidents have occurred with Indian diplomats in Pakistan.

While India has been accusing Pakistan of harassing its officials, Pakistan issued a demarche to India saying it was becoming hard for its diplomats to function in Delhi.

Upon further insistence, Pakistan hinted at withdrawing the families of its diplomatic staff if the culprit behind bullying and harassing the diplomats and their family is not punished.


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