Friday, 16 November, 2018

Pak diplomatic row: India issues 13th Note Verbale to Pak on harassment

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
Cristina Norman | 19 March, 2018, 00:26

Reacting to the development, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "It is pretty normal for an Ambassador or a High Commissioner in any country - for example the resident Ambassadors and High Commissioners who are in India - to go back to their capital to hold consultations with the foreign office".

In two separate incidents, the Second Secretary and other officials were followed "in an intimidating manner"- in the first case, by people in a vehicle, and in the second, by bikers, the sources said.

"On March 18, the second secretary at the Indian high commission in Pakistan was aggressively followed by unidentified people in a auto in close proximity in an intimidating manner while he was going to Chhaye Khana restaurant". An Indian officer and his family were followed by bike-borne men on Thursday, March 15, in Islamabad.

Pakistan said it has called home its envoy Sohail Mahmood for consultations after repeated incidents of "harassment" of its diplomatic staff in New Delhi.

Aside from the diplomatic spat surrounding Britain and Russian Federation or the war of words between Trump administration and North Korea, a new row has been emerging between diplomats in India and Pakistan - over ringing of bells late at night. India also asked Pakistan for a probe into the fresh incidents while asking for the results of the probe to be shared with it.

Pakistani officials even released a video of such "harassment", in which a white auto is seen blocking their diplomat's vehicle in Delhi and people on motorcycles abusing and filming the occupants.

Islamabad has ruled out the possibility of sending its High Commissioner back to India till the diplomatic stand-off continues with New Delhi. "Videos were made using mobile phone", the source said.

The Indian high commission in Islamabad has also been lodging protests on similar grounds claiming disturbance to its functioning for over a week now.

The official justified the move, insisting that under current circumstances it was not possible for the high commissioner to operate out of New Delhi.

Amid the tension between the two countries, The Indian Express reported that it has emerged that Pakistan has blocked Indian government websites - those with domain names.gov and.in - since last May.

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