Tensions flare up yet again as India takes up with Pakistan issue of diplomats’ harassment

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New Delhi – : After a series of accusations of mistreating the diplomats in the high commissions of India and Pakistan earlier this year, fresh reports have emerged about Indian diplomats facing harassment in Pakistan on Saturday. According to news agency ANI, many Indian diplomats were being denied new gas connections while internet services of senior officials were also blocked. A case of an intruder entering an official’s house in early December also reported.

The Centre has taken up the matter with Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reported ANI.

Incidents of harassment of diplomats on both sides were reported earlier this year too, after which “high level” talks helped resolve the issue at the time. India and Pakistan on 31 March announced that they agreed to mutually resolve all issues about the treatment of diplomats. The agreement followed claims and counter-claims by the two countries about harassment of each other’s diplomats.

India views this as a clear contravention of the Vienna Convention. Earlier this year, India and Pakistan had mutually agreed to follow the 1961 bilateral code of conduct.

Earlier in March, India had asked Pakistan to ensure safety and security of its officials working at the Indian mission in Islamabad, saying they continue to face “harassment” and “intimidation”. In its 16th ‘Note Verbale’ to the Pakistan Foreign Ministry on 22 March, the Indian High Commission specifically mentioned three incidents of harassment of senior officials.

Pakistan had claimed that there had been as many as 26 instances of harassment and intimidation of its diplomats in March 2018, following which Islamabad called back its high commissioner Sohail Mahmood for discussions on the issue.

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