Pakistan recalls New Delhi based High Commissioner

High-Commissioner-in-Delhi-Sohail-Mahmood.jpg

Step follows harassment of Pakistani diplomats

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

Pakistan has recalled its High Commissioner from India for consultation on the issue of harassment of its diplomats in New Delhi. The Foreign Office spokesperson Dr. Muhammad Faisal said this while giving weekly briefing to media here on Thursday, adding that minorities especially Muslims are being mistreated in India the high commissioner in New Delhi has been asked to come to Islamabad for consultations.
Earlier the foreign office said Pakistani officials and their families were facing “intense harassment, intimidation and outright violence from the Indian state agencies”.
Meanwhile an Indian diplomat in Islamabad talking to the media said that India would investigate the allegations.
Dr. Faisal said, the Indian Deputy High Commissioner Mr. J.P. Singh was summoned to the Foreign Office and a strong protest was lodged at the maltreatment being meted out to the officials and families of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.
“Regretting that no positive action has been taken so far by India on the issue, Dr Faisal said security of our diplomats is paramount and Pakistan will take every step, in this regard.
This deliberates bullying, which continues is not confined to a single isolated event and continues unabated despite repeated official protests lodged with the Indian High Commission here, and also with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs at the highest’ said Dr Faisal. He added” Our High Commission also shared photographs identifying the individuals, who forcibly halted and took pictures of the officers, with the Indian External Affairs Ministry”. He said that under the Vienna Convention, the safety and the security of Pakistani diplomats and their families is the responsibility of the Indian Government.
Talking about Kashmir, he added that Pakistan raised the issue of India’s grave human rights violations in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK) during the 37th Session of UN Human Rights Council, being held in Geneva, Switzerland. Pakistan called on India to stop killing Kashmiri civilians, end the impunity enjoyed by its security forces and allow unfettered access to UN Fact-finding Team to investigate the human rights violations in IoK. India’s denial of access to the UN Fact-finding Team is a “desperate attempt” to hide its atrocities in “the most militarized zone of the world.” Participating in the session Pakistan urged India to stop bloodshed in Occupied Kashmir and resolve the dispute in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people as laid down in UN Security Council Resolutions.
To a question, the spokesman lauded announcement of head money by United States on TTP terrorists including Mullah Fazlullah and others and added that there is need to do more in this regard. He said Pakistan welcomes the US announcement of head money for militant leaders and said that these were the militants involved in deadliest terror attacks in Pakistan. He added that the US and coalition forces in Afghanistan need to do more to nab militants using Afghan soil for perpetrating heinous activities inside Pakistan.
Dr Faisal said during the 41st Session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs, Pakistan has been elected a member of the Governing Boards of the three Subsidiary Organs of Organization of Islamic Cooperation which include Islamic Centre for the Development of Trade, Islamic University of Technology Dhaka and Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture Istanbul.
Replying another question, he futher said that the Iranian Foreign Minister’s recent visit from from 11-13 March to Pakistan and its offer to invest in Chabahar port the Spokesperson said Gwadar and Chabahar are sister ports.
These can complement each other in promoting future trade and transit and Pakistan will continue to work with Iran for deepening connectivity between the two ports. He said that Pakistan and Iran reiterated their resolve to achieve the target of $ 5 billion by 2021, through regular exchange of trade delegations, establishing banking channels, holding trade exhibitions and addressing tariff and non-tariff barriers. They further resolved to conclude the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on priority
To another question the Foreign Office spokesperson said Pakistan is not oblivious to arms buildup in its neighborhood particularly in India and has been proposing measures for promoting restraints in the use of nuclear technology.
He also informed that he 8th Round of the Pakistan-Czech Republic Bilateral Political Consultations was held in Islamabad on 13 March 2018. The two sides reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and identified opportunities and possibilities for further cooperation, especially in the spheres of trade, investment, defense, education, culture, parliamentary exchanges and people-to-people contacts.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday asserted that Islamabad does not “expect” any improvement in relations with New Delhi as long as the Indian army continues to violate the ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary.
Asif’s statement comes a day after cross-border firing injured two locals in Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district. Three members of a visiting United Nations Military Observers Mission for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), who had arrived to inspect the situation along the LoC barely escaped with their lives.
The UN officials were in the Polas village, hardly a kilometre away from the dividing line, when the cross-border firing began. The officials, who had been speaking to residents about the situation along the border, were “in a state of shock” after the unexpected incident, police said.
“India is violating the ceasefire agreement time and again on the Line of Control and Working Boundary,” Khawaja Asif said adding in such circumstances, we are not expecting improvement in relations between the two countries. The foreign minister told a private news channel.

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