Pak Calls Back Its Envoy In India, Normal Says MEA

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New Delhi–Amidst recent diplomatic standoff between the neighbouring countries of India and Pakistan, Islamabad on Thursday, called back its High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood for consultations after alleged incidents of harassment of its diplomatic staff in New Delhi.

In a statement, Islamabad said that it had called envoy Sohail Mahmood for “consultations” after “no positive action had been taken by India”.

Reports claimed that the envoy has been called back home for an unspecified time.

Reacting on the development, the Indian government said that calling back envoys for consultations is a routine process and there is nothing unusual in this.

Addressing the media in Delhi, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “I am a bit surprised about the question about Pakistan High commissioner going back. It is pretty normal and pretty routine. I leave it at that. It is not a recall. It is very routine.”

On the claims of Pakistan, Raveesh Kumar said, “We take note of their (Pakistan’s) concerns. We are looking into these issues. We will not specify the issues taken up in front of the media. We do not wish to respond to this through media but through established diplomatic channels. Our issues haven’t been resolved in Islamabad.”

Raveesh Kumar added: “We want that our Commission in Islamabad functions smoothly, the officials are not harassed, their work is not obstructed and that the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations, 1961 is abided by.”

Notably, a day ago, Pakistan had summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh over the alleged harassment of officials and families of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi and said such “despicable incidents” indicate “complicit unwillingness” of the Indian government to protect foreign diplomats.

Earlier, New Delhi and Islamabad traded harassment claims of their High Commissions. While Islamabad complained that its diplomats were being subjected to different kinds of harassment in India, New Delhi, on the other hand, alleged that several Indian mission staffers in Islamabad have been severely “harassed and intimidated”.

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