Diplomatic ties between India and Pakistan strained further, after the Pakistani government called back its Sohail Mahmood, High Commissioner to India. Mr. Mahmood has been called for ‘consultations’ to Islamabad because Pakistani government is not satisfied with the actions of Indian government in the case of diplomat’s family being harassed and intimidated in Delhi.
The issue came to light Pakistani High Commission released a video, which had captured the diplomatic vehicle of Sohail Mahmood being followed by men on motorcycle and cars in the capital city Delhi. Commenting on the incident, a Pakistani diplomatic source added “while heavy surveillance of diplomats has always been a cause for concern, the scale, intensity and frequency of the harassment of embassy vehicles, personnel and families in the last few weeks is very worrying.”
The Pakistani government has complained that is no single incident, as there have many such instance of Pakistani diplomats and their families being “bullied” in the Indian capital. The Indian side seems to be equally troubled by incidents of harassment its diplomats face in Islamabad. “Harassment is the new normal for Indian High Commission personnel in Islamabad,” remarked the Indian foreign ministry in a statement released by them. The Indian envoy met Foreign Secretary of Pakistan on 16th February to express the difficulties and hooliganism the diplomats are subjected in Islamabad. The statement also stated that power supplies were cut-off to Indian diplomats houses, unidentified people broke into their house, and have stolen laptops and other belongings.
Terming the call-back of Sohail Mahmood for ‘consultations’ as “routine”, the Indian government seems to see this episode as a diplomatic course. “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 when asked about the incident.
(Source: Pakistan Today, NDTV)