Published: Mon, March 19, 2018

Diplomatic standoff fallout: Pak pulls out of WTO meet

Diplomatic standoff fallout: Pak pulls out of WTO meet

The officer added that Pakistan may withdraw the families of diplomatic staff from India, if relations didn't improve.

"India sent a note verbale to Pakistan on Friday with seven points highlighting in chronological order incidents of Indian diplomats being harassed", sources told NDTV.

Amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan over alleged harassment of diplomats, Pakistan has pulled out of the two-day World Trade Organisation (WTO) summit that is to begin in Delhi on Monday.

India had last month invited Pakistan commerce minister Pervez Malik to participate in the informal WTO ministerial meeting scheduled for March 19 and 20, and Islamabad had initially accepted the invitation.

Dr. Muhammad Faisal said, India seemed to be confused after the arrest of its spy K.Jhadav in Pakistan.

Commerce secretary Rita Teaotia had said recently that the meeting would be more of an "ice-breaker" as it is being held after the collapse of talks at the Buenos Aires WTO Ministerial in December.

On the March 15, an official of the Indian mission and his family was aggressively followed by two men on motorbike while he was going to a restaurant.

Official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar, said such consultation between a country's embassy and foreign office are routine processes and there is nothing unusual in this. Reports in Pakistan suggested that the officials is unlikely to return soon to India.

India and Pakistan have accused each others' security agents of a peculiar form of harassment - ringing the doorbells of each others' diplomatic residencies and then running away.

Mahmood arrived last evening for consultations after Pakistan alleged repeated harassment of its diplomats in New Delhi.

However, New Delhi stressed that Pakistani official are not the only ones complaining.

India on Sunday hit out at Pakistan for denying its diplomats normal working conditions in Islamabad and sent another note verbale. This was followed by the intrusive following and harassment of diplomats on both sides, and truly curious incidents, such as the deputy high commissioners of both countries reportedly having the doorbell of their residences rung at 3 am.

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