ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday recalled its High Commissioner to India for consultative meetings as both nations traded allegations of harassing diplomats.
According to a Foreign Office, Islamabad registered a protest at the lack of efforts by the Indian government on this account. The FO asked High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood to return to Pakistan for consultative meetings.
Separately, Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh was summoned to the FO to lodge a protest on the “maltreatment being meted out to the officials and families of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.”
The FO claimed photographs identifying individuals involved in harassment had been submitted to the Indian External Affairs Ministry. Action was yet to be taken, the FO said.
“The total apathy and failure of the Indian government to halt these despicable incidents, sparing not even young children, indicates both a lack of capacity to protect foreign diplomats posted in India or a more reprehensible, complicit unwillingness to do so,” said the FO. “Under the Vienna Convention, the safety and the security of Pakistani diplomats and their families is the responsibility of the Indian Government.
At least three incidents of harassment of Pakistani diplomats and their families at the hand of Indian authorities have surfaced in New Delhi so far. In one, a Pakistani High Commission vehicle was trailed by motorcyclists and its path obstructed by another car. Video footage of the occurrence has been released.
In another incident, the children of the deputy high commissioner were stopped while going to school and their driver was harassed, sources said, adding that the two recent accidents involving vehicles of the high commission were also being considered as ‘deliberate acts’.