Pakistan calls envoy back from Delhi, we don’t expect improvement in ties: Asif


ISLAMABAD: In wake of repeated incidents of harassment of Pakistani diplomats at the hands of Indian authorities in the Indian capital, Islamabad has called back Pakistan’s High Commissioner to New Delhi “for consultations”, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said at a weekly press briefing on Thursday. Incidents of harassment of Pakistani diplomats and their families that are posted in India have emerged recently, with unidentified people chasing and clocking a car carrying the children of a counsellor just this week.

Khawaja Asif

The children were allegedly filmed and photographed for 40 minutes, leaving them traumatised. The FO on Tuesday had summoned a senior Indian diplomat to protest the continued harassment, accusing Indian authorities of complicity as, despite providing evidence of such incidents to India’s Foreign Ministry, “no positive action” had been taken as yet.
Dr Faisal during today’s briefing said that deliberate maltreatment of diplomats and their families by India is not confined to single event and continues unabated despite Pakistan’s protest. He insisted that Pakistan would go to ‘any lengths’ to ensure the safety of its diplomats posted abroad. “The security of our diplomats is paramount, and Pakistan will take every step in this regard,” he said. The FO spokesperson also warned India against “political point-scoring” through playing “the Pakistan card in its domestic politics.” Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday asserted that Islamabad does not “expect” any improvement in relations with New Delhi as long as the Indian army continues to violate the ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary.
Asif’s statement comes a day after cross-border firing injured two locals in Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district. Three members of a visiting United Nations Military Observers Mission for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), who had arrived to inspect the situation along the LoC barely escaped with their lives. The UN officials were in the Polas village, hardly a kilometre away from the dividing line, when the cross-border firing began.
The officials, who had been speaking to residents about the situation along the border, were “in a state of shock” after the unexpected incident, police said. “India is violating the ceasefire agreement time and again on the Line of Control and Working Boundary,” Asif said. “In such circumstances, we are not expecting improvement in relations between the two countries,” the foreign minister told a private news channel.