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Saturday Mar 31 2018

Harassment of diplomats: Pakistan, India agree to mutually resolve issue


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India have mutually agreed to resolve the issue pertaining to harassment and treatment of diplomats and their families.

In a statement, issued on Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs remarked that the two neighbouring countries will resolve the matter “in line with the 1992 'Code of Conduct' for treatment of Diplomatic/Consular personnel in India and Pakistan.”

On March 13, the foreign office had shared that the officers and families of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi were facing harassment, intimidation and ‘outright violence’ from the Indian state agencies.

The statement said that the “deliberate bullying” is not confined to a single isolated event, but continues unabated in a series of incidents targeting the families of the officers.

According to the statement, a car carrying school-going children of Pakistan’s counsellor was followed by “unknown persons on cars and motorcycles”. Moreover, the vehicle was blocked and videos and photographs of the children were constantly made for 40 minutes.

Alongside, the drivers of the high commission were forcibly halted and their mobile phones aggressively switched off to prevent them from contacting anyone.

The tension between the two countries escalated following the harassment of diplomats. 

Cricket diplomacy to ease Pak-India ties: Indian HC

On Friday, Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria expressed that the time for sports between India and Pakistan will come, adding that the environment will hopefully be conducive for cricket as well.

Bisaria was speaking to businessmen at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Indian envoy said that the 70-year-old policy will not benefit anyone and when the ice breaks the bilateral relations will improve and issues will be resolved.

He said that a future, different from the past is needed, adding that the youth of the two neighbouring countries has moved on from the bitterness of the past.

The Indian HC expressed hope that the Pakistani and Indian youth will take things between the two countries forward.

The visa tension between India and Pakistan is a pressing issue that should be resolved, said Bisaria, adding that he would try that the maximum number of Indian visas are issued to traders.

He said India and Pakistan are neighbouring countries and would continue to remain so. Bisaria added the two countries could only progress if they give each other space for dialogue.

“People want to come together,” he said. “The issues [between India and Pakistan] are not such that cannot be resolved.”