New Delhi: Amidst growing strain in Indo-Pak ties, India on Monday advised its diplomats and officials posted in its High Commission in Islamabad to make arrangements for education of their wards outside Pakistan from this academic session, virtually downgrading it as a “non-school-going station”.
The announcement came after a government’s review of staffing and related policies for their diplomatic missions as also prevailing circumstances at the station.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “It is a normal practice for all countries to review staffing and related policies for their diplomatic missions, including in view of prevailing circumstances at those stations.
“With effect from this academic session, officials posted in the High Commission of India in Islamabad have been advised to make arrangements for education of their wards outside Pakistan, till further notice.”
According to officials, there are about 50 school-going children of Indian officials, who are currently posted in Indian mission in Islamabad. This development amounts to “downgrade” of Pakistan as a “non-school-going station”, an official said.
India and Pakistan are witnessing growing bitterness after Pakistan and its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made provocative statements on the Kashmir situation in the wake of Hizb commander Burhan Wani’s killing on July 8.
Not only did Sharif praise Wani but he also remarked that “Kashmir will one day become Pakistan”, a comment which evoked a sharp reaction from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who said his dream of the state becoming a part of his country “will not be realised even at the end of eternity”.
Last week, India had asked Pakistan to ensure full safety and security of Indian officials and their families there in view of the threats of marches and protests at the High Commission after the observance of ‘Kashmir s Accession to Pakistan Day” and “Black Day” last week.