India terms issue as a ‘routine’

New Delhi: India termed as “routine” Pakistan calling its high commissioner home for consultations after alleging that its diplomats and their families were “harassed and intimidated”.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the Indian High Commission in Islamabad was also facing a “litany of issues” which have not been resolved for several months by that country.

In latest escalation of tensions between the two countries, Pakistan today said it has decided to call home its envoy in India Sohail Mahmood for consultations after repeated incidence of “harassment” of its diplomatic staff in New Delhi.

“It is pretty normal and routine for any country to call its envoy for consultations,” Kumar said during his weekly media briefing while replying to a volley of questions on the issue.

“Frankly, I am a bit surprised as to why this question is posed to me. Consultations by any resident Ambassador/High Commissioner with their headquarters is a matter for that country. We of course have no comments to offer on the news reports regarding the Pakistan High Commissioner,” he said.

The spokesperson said India was looking into the issues being raised by Pakistan.

He said India has also asked the Pakistan government for immediate resolution of the issues being faced by its mission in Islamabad so that the safety and security of Indian diplomatic mission and its diplomatic and consular officials are assured.

In Islamabad, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry claimed that the staff and their families have been facing “harassment, intimidation and outright violence” from Indian state agencies in recent weeks.

Kumar said the Indian High Commission was also facing lot of issues and India has already taken them up through diplomatic channels.

“We would like our Mission to function normally, without any obstruction or harassment, in keeping with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961,” he said.

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