Diplomats harassment issue: Want to sort it out as soon as possible, says Pak envoy

New Delhi: Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood Friday said that he has discussed the issue of alleged harassment of diplomats with his government, which wants to sort out it “as soon as possible”.

Mahmood, who came back to India last night, days after he was called back for consultations amid raging row between India and Pakistan over harassment of diplomats, said such issues affect the relation between the two countries.

“I discussed this issue (alleged harassment of Pakistani diplomats in India) with our government. We want to sort out this issue as soon as possible because it affects the relations between the countries,” the Pakistani envoy said on the sidelines of an event organised to mark ‘Pakistan National Day’.

Mahmood was called back to Islamabad for consultations after alleged incidents of harassment of its diplomatic staff in New Delhi, with Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Faisal claiming that the Indian government failed to take notice of the increasing incidents of intimidation of Pakistani diplomats, their families and staff by its intelligence agencies.

India and Pakistan have accused each other of harassing diplomats in Islamabad and New Delhi respectively.

Mahmood said that all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan, including Kashmir, can be resolved through dialogue, which will usher in an “era of peace and stability” in South Asia.

Mahmood said Pakistan has sought peaceful and good neighbourly relations with all countries in South Asia including India.

Talking to reporters after hoisting his country’s flag to mark Pakistan’s National Day at the Pakistan High Commission, the envoy said he hoped there would be space for diplomacy and efforts to begin dialogue which helps the two countries resolve their differences and a move towards bilateral relations.

“In the context of foreign relations especially in South Asia, Pakistan continues to follow the policy of peaceful neighbourhood and in that context, Pakistan has sought peaceful and good neighbourly relations with all countries in South Asia including India,” he said.

He said that Pakistan seeks such relation on the basis of the equality and mutual respect.

“We have always sought solution of all outstanding disputes through dialogue and we believe that all outstanding issues including Kashmir if they are resolved through dialogue, it will usher in an era of peace, stability and prosperity in South Asia,” the Pakistani envoy said.

He also said the 2018 marks 70 years of India and Pakistan after Independence in 1947, and it is important to reflect how the last 70 years have gone and resolve that the next 70 years would be different.

At the Pakistan High Commission, various cultural programmes were organised to mark Pakistan National Day. (PTI)


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