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‘Harassment’ of diplomat: Pakistan refuses to send High Commissioner back to India

By Deepika
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    Pakistan is refuses to send its High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood back to New Delhi any time soon, reported The Express Tribune on Saturday.

     Sohail Mahmood

    Islamabad's decision comes in the wake of allegations of harassment and intimidation of diplomats of both countries, and their families.

    The daily further quoted the unnamed official of the Foreign Office, as saying that Islamabad has decided not to send High Commissioner Mahmood back to New Delhi until the overall situation regarding treatment of diplomatic staff and their families is resolved.

    "Our high commissioner will not return to India anytime soon," the senior Foreign Office official was quoted by the Express Tribune, as saying just hours after Mahmood returned from New Delhi on Friday.

    The official told the daily that the high commissioner would stay back for an indefinite period. Initially, it was thought that he would return to New Delhi after consultations with relevant authorities.

    On March 15, Pakistan recalled its High Commissioner in India Sohail Mahmood for "consultations" after repeated incidence of "harassment" of its diplomatic staff in New Delhi.

    Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Faisal said the Indian government failed to take notice of the increasing incidents of intimidation of Pakistani diplomats, their families and staffers by its intelligence agencies.

    However, the Indian government downplayed the move, calling it "routine". "He has been called back for consultation. This is pretty normal for High Commissioner to brief its foreign office. We have no further comments," foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a press conference in New Delhi.

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