ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday accused India of harassing its diplomats and their families in the country and threatened to pull out the families if the intimidation did not stop.

A demarche was made to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and external affairs ministry in Delhi, a diplomatic source revealed.

“It is becoming difficult for the Pakistani diplomats posted in India to keep their families with them due to increase in harassment incidents,” the source said.

It has become difficult for Pakistan embassy staff to keep their families there, reads a demarche made to Indian high commission

Harassment of families would not be tolerated at all, he maintained.

He pointed to the incidents over the past three days in which the children of Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner were stopped and harassed on their way to school. In another incident a senior diplomat was harassed while moving in Delhi.

The source said diplomatic vehicles were being stopped on different pretexts and searched. Members of diplomatic staff are also abused in public and a number of accidents of vehicles have happened.

Indian employees of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, he said, were also being stopped from coming to work.

Relations between Pakistan and India have historically been tense, and the tensions aggravated under the BJP government.

Frequent ceasefire violations have been reported on the Line of Control and Working Boundary by India; in fact the highest number of breaches took place last year since the 2003 ceasefire accord took effect leaving 87 people dead.

Meanwhile, former president and co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Ali Zardari in a statement condemned harassment of Pakistani diplomats and declared it a serious violation of diplomatic norms.

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2018

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