Diplomatic row: India, Pak bury hatchet
In a huge diplomatic breakthrough, both India and Pakistan jointly announced late on Friday evening that they had agreed to resolve the diplomat harassment row that had been severely affecting bilateral ties.
In synchronised identical statements issued at the same time from both New Delhi by the MEA and Islamabad by the Pakistan Foreign Ministry, the two sides said, “India and Pakistan have mutually agreed to resolve matters related to the treatment of diplomats and diplomatic premises, in line with the 1992 ‘ Code of Conduct for the treatment of diplomatic/ consular personnel in India and Pakistan’. The resolution comes as a glimmer of hope that the two sides can work at repairing ties that have hit rock- bottom in the past two years.
This also comes in the wake of both countries having alleged recently
to the other that their diplomats were being harassed by the other side. The row was also resolved after both sides issued numerous note verbales to each other.
The row had hit the headlines earlier this month on March 11 after the Pakistani government sources shared details of the row with the Pakistani media. India declined to go public on the spat but the Indian government sources had subsequently said that Indian diplomats had been facing harassment in Islamabad for more than a year.
But there at were indications the Pakistan National Day celebrations on March 23 at the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi that matters were moving towards resolution. For one, the Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood — who had been recalled about a week prior to the event to Islamabad for consultations — chose to return to New Delhi to host the event. The second indicator was the presence of a senior MEA official at the Pakistan high commission amid speculation that the two sides were engaged in serious discussions to sort out the row.
The last occasion when any alleged harassment was reported was on March 22 when there were incidents of alleged harassment of Indian diplomats in Islamabad. But Pakistani diplomatic sources had maintained their diplomats were being harassed too in New Delhi.
Indian government sources had said earlier this month that “harassment is the new normal for Indian high commission personnel in Islamabad” for the past more than one year, with the Indian high commissioner lodging a strong protest more than a month ago on February 16 with Islamabad “against multiple acts of hooliganism against Indian properties and personnel”.