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Pakistan to skip the WTO meet due to the maltreatment of officials in New Delhi

Mar 18, 2018

Pakistan to skip the WTO meet due to the maltreatment of officials in New Delhi
Pakistan to skip the WTO meet due to the maltreatment of officials in New Delhi | Credit: KashmirObs

Pakistan has chosen to pull out of the World Trade Organisation meet in New Delhi, protesting against the alleged harassment of the country's diplomats in India. This is in coincidence with the calling back of its High Commissioner, Sohail Mahmood, from New Delhi.

India has scheduled an informal meeting in New Delhi on March 19-20. Last month, India had invited Pakistan's Commerce Minister Pervez Malik to take part in it. Malik was supposed to meet the Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and had initially confirmed his attendance for the event.

Soon the situation turned against India after “repeated harassment of families of diplomats" and Pakistan has rejected the invitation.

According to a few sources, Pakistan has refused to send their commerce minister to India in the current situation and has informed India regarding that.

He said that Pakistan is unhappy about India’s violations of the ceasefire on the Line of Control and that the country should stop the atrocities in Kashmir.

India has invited the Trade ministers of 50 nations including the US, China and Pakistan to discuss issues related to agriculture and services. Pakistan has opted to stay away from it and it has synced with the recalling of its High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood from New Delhi. Due to the mistreatment of the families of the diplomats posted at High-commission in New Delhi, Mahmood returned back to Islamabad from New Delhi. Pakistan is currently trying to address the situation after consulting their officials. 

Department of foreign ministry quoted that Mahmood will brief top officials about the situation. They said that the diplomatic stand-off between the countries has aggravated and there were plans for declaring New Delhi as a non-family station. They have also decided to not send back Mahmood for an indefinite period. There are allegations that Indian diplomatic staff was also facing troubles and harassment in Islamabad. But Pakistan has rejected them.

Officials from Islamabad initially reported that High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood will return to New Delhi after consultations with authorities. However, the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the high commissioner would not return back to New Delhi for an indefinite period or “until Indian agencies stop their harassment against the staff and families of their diplomatic mission” in New Delhi.

On the other hand, India has been complaining that Pakistan has failed to ensure safety and security of our diplomats posted in Islamabad. Despite the repeated requests and warnings from India, the country did not provide a satisfactory response. As a result, India summoned the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan, Syed Haidar Shah, on Saturday, explaining the latest diplomatic fight. ‘The cold war’ has aggravated after Pakistani sources issued several videos of their diplomats being stalked by security operatives on the streets of Delhi.

Both the countries have been accusing each other of similar issues. This has considerably strained the relationship between the two neighbors.