Pakistan to boycott WTO meeting in India

Representational image | Commons

In the two fresh incidents on Sunday, one Indian diplomat going to a restaurant in Islamabad was "aggressively" followed by some people in a auto while in the second incident, four Indian diplomats travelling in an official vehicle on their way to a market were tailed by two people on a motorcycle.

Diplomatic sources mentioned that Pakistan has scheduled the WTO ministerial meeting to be held here from March 19-20.

Sohail Mahmood's return to Pakistan is said to have been result of at least three alleged instances of Pakistani officials and their families in India facing harassment at the hands of India's secret agencies.

The tit-for-tat doorbell wars began when the bell of the Indian Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan was rung at 3 am, Bloomsberg correspondent Ian Marlow tweeted.

For the WTO summit, India has invited Trade Ministers of over 50 nations including the US, China and Pakistan to discuss key issues related with areas like agriculture and services.

The Foreign Ministry of India had complained to the Pakistan government today about the incidents in which some of the Indian High Commission officials were followed and abused during their shopping in Islamabad's main business district.

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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.

Amid tensions between India and Pakistan over reports of harassment of diplomats, the neighbouring country decided not to take part in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meet which will take place in the national capital next week.

The Indian high commission in Islamabad has also been lodging protests on similar grounds claiming disturbance to its functioning for over a week now.

India reportedly sent a note verbale to Pakistan on Friday with seven points highlighting in chronological order incidents of Indian diplomats being harassed. Meanwhile, New Delhi maintained that it uses diplomatic channels, and not the media, to protest.

While India has been accusing Pakistan of harassing its officials, Pakistan issued a demarche to India saying it was becoming hard for its diplomats to function in Delhi.

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