Accusing Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit of repeatedly scuttling the peace process between India and Pakistan, the state BJP on Sunday demanded that the Union government declare the diplomat a ‘persona non-grata’.
“The Government of India must declare Abdul Basit a persona non-grata and expel him immediately,” party spokesman, Brig (retd) Anil Gupta said here.
The BJP leader said Basit’s controversial statements on Kashmir and his act of dedicating Pakistan’s Independence Day today “to the independence of Kashmir” are blatant breaches of diplomatic protocol.
“Basit has on earlier occasions also crossed the ‘Red Line’, which was ignored by the government. Yet he continues to misuse his diplomatic immunity by meddling in India’s internal affairs,” Gupta said.
He said the Pakistani diplomat has “thrown to wind all the diplomatic niceties and was behaving like a spokesperson of the Pakistani ‘deep state’ attempting to provoke the Indian government and such a person has no locus-standi to stay on the Indian soil.”
“Basit was responsible for scuttling the commencement of the likely peace process when he insisted on consultations with Kashmiri separatist leaders despite India’s objection just prior to the scheduled meeting of foreign secretaries of the two countries,” Gupta said.
He said Basit has not only been interacting with the separatists but also issuing provocative statements.
“It is surprising that Pakistan is not seeing the writing on wall in its country which is heading towards disintegration with freedom movements having peaked in PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan and continues to dream of taking away Kashmir,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Basit said Pakistan was dedicating its Independence Day today to Kashmir’s “freedom” and will continue to extend full diplomatic, political and moral support to the people of the state.
He made the comments at an event at the Pakistan High Commission to celebrate his country’s Independence Day.