'Allow Indian diplomats in Pak. to work without hindrance'

Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday and told that Islamabad should let Indian diplomats posted in Pakistan work “without hindrance.”

Meeting Mr. Basit, Sujata Mehta, Secretary (West) took up the issue of “discourtesy” to Indian envoy Gautam Bambawale in Karachi.

“He was conveyed our hope that our accredited diplomats in Pakistan will be allowed to discharge their normal functions without hindrance,” said a source in the MEA.

The incident of discourtesy involved the Karachi Chamber of Commerce where a speech on India-Pakistan trade ties by Mr. Bambawale was cancelled barely an hour before the event was to take place on Tuesday.

A senior diplomatic source based in the High Commission of Pakistan in Delhi said that Mr. Bambawale’s visit to Karachi was a privilege granted to him that turned controversial after his comments during an event held on Monday at the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations.

He said that some members of the trade body objected to Mr. Bambawale’s comments and pushed for cancellation in solidarity with the situation in Kashmir.

Pakistani diplomatic sources based in India told The Hindu that they used the meeting with Indian diplomats to demand similar courtesies from India.

“We told our Indian colleagues that we have been denied so many events for being Pakistani diplomats in India. The High Commissioner of Pakistan to India is often “de-invited” from events even after being formally invited. We are prevented from travelling with our families even to the nearest suburbs of Delhi,” said a senior Pakistani diplomat.

However, an MEA official retorted that India does not cancel events that are officially organised.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 5:10:53 PM |

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