Pakistan calls its envoy back, India terms it a normal procedure

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The ongoing diplomatic stand-off between India and Pakistan took a new twist on Thursday after the latter called its envoy, Shoail Mahmood, back home to discuss incidents of “harassment” that its diplomats have been allegedly facing in New Delhi lately.

Media reports suggested that the Pakistani high commissioner to India has been called back to Islamabad because the country’s diplomats in New Delhi have lately been subjected to several instances of harassment by the local administration and people in violation of all diplomatic norms.

India reacted to this development by playing it down and calling it a routine practice. Official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar, said such consultation between a country’s embassy and foreign office are routine processes and there is nothing unusual in this.

Kumar said there are several points of contention between the two countries that have been pending for quite some time now and that India wishes to raise them for resolution through diplomatic channels and not before the media. He said India wants its mission in Pakistan to function normally in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961.

The Indian high commission in Islamabad has also been lodging protests on similar grounds claiming disturbance to its functioning for over a week now. Both sides have been alleging that their respective diplomats have been subjected to abuse by local people and governments, and that is hampering their work.