Diplomat harassment issue: Pakistan recalls envoy, India says it's normal

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Days after alleging harassment of its officials and their families in New Delhi, Pakistan on Thursday called back its High Commissioner in  New Delhi, Sohail Mahmood, to Islamabad.

Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said they will hold consultations with the High Commissioner over "recent incidents of harassing of their diplomats".

Terming the recall as “pretty normal and routine”, India's external affairs ministry said they were looking into the matter.

"The Pakistan High Commissioner has been called for consultations and it is normal," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters.

“We won’t give details of the issue which we’ve taken up with the Pakistan government. This is something which should be taken up through established diplomatic channels and not published in media. We expect them to look into and resolve those issues,” he added.
Speaking at his weekly press briefings, Faisal claimed that the Indian government had not taken measures to safeguard Pakistani diplomats and their families in India, adding that the Pakistani government lodged protests over the matter with the Indian deputy High Commissioner as well as India's External Affairs Ministry.

The Pakistan Foreign Ministry claimed that the staff and their families have been facing "harassment, intimidation and outright violence" from Indian state agencies in recent weeks.

In a statement, Pakistan said that its Deputy High Commissioner's car was chased and his driver was abused by a group of men in the Indian capital last week.

Pakistan's Foreign Office, on Tuesday, India's Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh over the issue.

Responding to complaints by Islamabad, New Delhi assured last week that "India makes all efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for diplomats to work in". It added the Indian officials had also faced "harassment" last year in Pakistan but they chose to deal with it through "quiet and persistent diplomacy".

According to ANI, Indian High Commission in Pakistan has also alleged harassment in Islamabad

"India's residential complex in Islamabad was raided by Pakistan agencies who expelled all Pakistani service providers and later disconnected power and water supply. Despite the Foreign Secretary's assurance, the power supply was not restored for over two weeks. The Pakistan High Commission faces no such disruptions (in India)," a source told the news agency. 

The report further said that on February 16, the High Commissioner of India had met the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, to lodge a strong protest against multiple acts of harassment.

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