‘Current approach, methods’ only go against diplomatic efforts, rethink needed: Pakistan envoy Sohail Mahmood

Indian government sources, however, said that they will look into the “genuine complaints, if any”. The Pakistan High Commission has lodged protests at least five times, and each of the incidents have been reported to the Ministry of External Affairs.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: March 15, 2018 10:49 am
Spat with India forcing rethink, says Pakistan envoy Sohail Mahmood Sohail Mahmood

Amid allegations of harassment and intimidation of diplomats of both countries, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood on Wednesday said that “current approach and methods” only go against the diplomatic efforts to make progress, and a “rethink” is needed in the current circumstances.

This comment came, even as it came to light that tension has been brewing between the two sides for a couple of months — one of the incidents involved the doorbell of the Indian deputy High Commissioner J P Singh being rung at 3 am. Since the Indian side felt that this was done by Pakistan’s security agencies, the Pakistan deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah’s door bell was also rung at 3 am in next few days.

In his first comments since the current crisis broke out, Mahmood — who came to India in August last year — told The Indian Express on Wednesday, “Through painstaking efforts over the past several months, we twice managed to ease tensions somewhat and began making progress on some of the tracks, including on humanitarian issues. The current approach and methods only militate against such efforts, while holding no prospect of advancing any particular objective. A re-think is in order.”

Read | After Indian diplomats targeted, Pakistan puts out New Delhi incident video

The two times he is referring to are the recent efforts which culminated on March 7, when Pakistan’s Foreign minister Khwaja Asif agreed to External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s request to exchange three categories of prisoners — women, disabled prisoners with special needs, and elderly inmates above 70 years.

Read | India-Pakistan low: Diplomats and families facing ‘intimidation’

In December, the two sides agreed to grant a meeting with the family to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been accused of spying by Pakistan and is currently on death row. But the entire exercise became futile after a series of mis-steps, from frisking of the family members to meeting with a glass partition.

Sources said that the incidents of harassment and intimidation have started the day the positive efforts came to a fruition on March 7.

The Pakistan High Commissioner’s comments came on a day when two more incidents of harassment were reported against their diplomats in Delhi, taking the number of incidents of harassment and intimidation up to at least 26 in the last eight days. Out of these 26 incidents in Delhi, two were against school-going children of diplomats, sources said.

Indian government sources, however, said that they will look into the “genuine complaints, if any”. The Pakistan High Commission has lodged protests at least five times, and each of the incidents have been reported to the Ministry of External Affairs.

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  1. D
    Mar 15, 2018 at 10:20 am
    Boo hooo hooo..I am heartbroken for these terrorists..sniff.. Throw these c u n t s out of the country and let them rot in their islamic h e l l. Bye bye P A K I S.
    1. M
      Mar 15, 2018 at 10:18 am
      Dear Indian Express reader Beware of member Blackpower 666.. He is a muslim and posts anti hindu information. He digs out concoted stories about Hindu vedas which are 5000 years old and no one follows. and posts here trying to create animosity between hindu community. He is a admirer of indian muslim joining Syria. This speakes of his ill intentions. He posts hundred of propoganda post so main info is hidden below the post this venomous snake called Blackpower 666 posts. He speakes about Brahmin vs Dalits, Hindus vs sikhs, Hindus vs chiristians and tries to divide the community. A radical muslim thoughts cur ly to topple the govt is very active with political support. To cut votes they are dividing Hindu community Beware of such poisonous snakes called Blackpower 666. He is not patriotic trying to create divide amongst hindus. and others.
      1. Michelle::Vedic:: Human
        Mar 15, 2018 at 9:10 am
        SoHail MAQCHOOD needs to be reminded about his Islamic law,---stop mutilating your mothers,--sisters,---daughters and aunties cl1trous,---stop marrying and banging your own cousin sisters and aunties,----and stop fingering 6yr old child like AISHA,---all PEDO M proscribed script in the unholy Quran,---Jai hind.
        1. Rare Gat
          Mar 15, 2018 at 10:16 am
          Haven't had your morning gaumutr??
          1. D
            Mar 15, 2018 at 10:18 am
            Jinnah stole mine.
        2. S
          Mar 15, 2018 at 9:07 am
          God.da.mn pa.ki liar. How about you bring Hafiz saeed and all the murderers responsible for 26/11 to justice -- maybe we can then believe that you murderous pa.ki scum are "rethinking" your relationship with India. This is just a tactical move to ease the corner you have painted yourselves into, an entire nation of jih.adi. terrorist sh.1t.he.eads.
          1. B
            BHAGWAT GOEL
            Mar 15, 2018 at 8:34 am
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