India, Pakistan Agree To Resolve Issue Of Alleged Harassment Of Diplomats
After a series of diplomatic dispute, New Delhi and Islamabad have started to put a stop to incidents of harassment of bureaucrats.
Almost a fortnight ago, diplomats and their families faced harassment at the hands of each others’ government agencies, sources told The Indian Express.
After the tit-for-tat diplomatic spat, a meaningful discussion is taking place over phones between the two neighbours. While the Ministry of External Affairs is in talks with Pakistan’s envoy Sohail Mahmood and Ajay Bisaria, Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad is in contact with Tehmina Janjua, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary. A source told The Indian Express, “We are talking (on the issue)…we are in touch (with each other).”
The escalation swells following a raid in the Indian embassy’s residential compound in Islamabad by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officials whereas three of Pakistan’s diplomats were harassed and their families were threatened in New Delhi as per the Pakistani Government’s claims. The Indian Express reported that in Islamabad aggressive tailing of Indian diplomats continues and harassment of Pakistani officials in New Delhi has also been reported. An Indian contractor who provides different types of services from regular civil works to electrical and plumbing jobs in Pakistan High Commission’s residential complex has not resumed work yet. Following the events, Pakistan summoned its ambassador to India for consultations.
The reported phase in the relationship between the two neighbouring countries was the worst since 2002-2003 when both sides reported similar incidents of harassment.
On the eve of Pakistan’s National Day on March 23, Islamabad’s decision to send High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood back to India just in time to host the Pakistan National Day reception in New Delhi, and New Delhi’s decision to send Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare to attend the National Day reception indicate that both sides are willing to normalise relations.
“The issue of harassment of Indian and Pakistan diplomats had marred the atmosphere created by the positive response to the humanitarian proposals… efforts are underway to once again build the atmosphere for the humanitarian gestures, related to prisoners,” the source said.