Pak, India diplomatic standoff

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IN yet another sign of deepening tension between the two nuclear armed neighbours, India on Tuesday decided to reduce the strength of Pakistani staff at the diplomatic mission in New Delhi by fifty per cent, hurling absurd allegations of espionage and terrorism at Pakistan’s diplomatic mission. Within hours of the Indian move, Pakistan categorically rejected and strongly condemned the baseless Indian allegations and in a tit for tat move the India’s chargé d’affaires in Islamabad was also conveyed to reduce the diplomatic strength by fifty per cent.
In fact, this has been the first time since 2001 that the two countries are reducing the strength of their diplomatic missions by half. The latest Indian move suggests that tension may further escalate between the two countries at a time when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is under immense pressure over his government’s capitulation before China. It is possible that India may further ratchet up tension with Pakistan in order to divert attention from its border tussle with China. As regards the Indian allegations are concerned, it is not the first time that India has resorted to such baseless accusations to malign Pakistan but this time these clearly demonstrate complete desperation of Modi government which has faced embarrassment on multiple fronts in recent times be it the border issue with Nepal or the border clash with China.
Incidents of harassment of Pakistani diplomatic mission in New Delhi have also become a routine occurrence and in our view we should completely withdraw our diplomatic staff from the Indian capital until and unless Modi changes his posture towards Pakistan. The fact of the matter is that it is India which has been caught red handed and that too on multiple occasions in espionage activities in Pakistan. The very confessional statement of Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav is on record who admitted the evil face of his country. Then there are statements of Indian military officials who time and again have confessed supporting separatists in Balochistan. Thus, India can no longer hoodwink the world community by hurling baseless accusations against Pakistan. Modi stands exposed and such tactics will not help but bring more embarrassment for him. It is also for the world to take notice of the Indian belligerence towards its neighbours and take the requisite steps to rein in the RSS-inspired Hindutva policy which poses a serious threat to regional peace and security. Our government and Foreign Office should further accelerate efforts to expose the true face of India before the world.