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Arrest of staffer violates Vienna Convention, says Pakistan

Pakistan on Thursday accused India of violating the international convention for protection of diplomats after New Delhi briefly detained a staffer of the Pakistan High Commission. High Commissioner Abdul Basit protested against the detention during his meeting with Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar after the Ministry of External Affairs called him to inform that the staffer has been declared a persona non-grata.

"Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit strongly protested with Indian Foreign Secretary at the detention and manhandling of Pakistan High Commission staffer yesterday in violation of 1961 Vienna convention and asked the Indian Government to ensure that such harassment should not happen in future. The High Commissioner strongly rejected and denied accusations of the Indian government," said a source from Pakistan High Commission

A Pakistani official said that India has given 48-hours to the staffer to return home. "He will go back to Pakistan by October 29," he said elaborating that the staffer was picked by Delhi Police on Wednesday evening but was released due to diplomatic immunity that he enjoys.

The latest episode in the ongoing war of words began on Thursday morning with MEA Spokesperson announcing on Twitter, that the staffer had been involved in espionage activities. "FS summons Pak High Commissioner to convey that Pak High Commission staffer has been declared persona non grata for espionage activities," MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

This came in the backdrop of repeated summoning of Deputy Chief of Mission of India in Islamabad over the last three days by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan. Indian diplomatic sources said that summoning was aimed at conveying Pakistan’s concerns about firing across the International Border (IB) and LoC.

The detention came three years after a senior Pakistani diplomat was assaulted on the streets of Delhi in an apparent road rage related incident. Sources say that this indicates a new level of escalation of problems in bilateral ties.


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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 7:26:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Arrest-of-staffer-violates-Vienna-Convention-says-Pakistan/article16083305.ece

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