NEW DELHI: India issued yet another note verbale to Pakistan earlier this month protesting five cases of harassment of Indian diplomats in Islamabad, TOI has learnt.
While these were mostly cases of tailing, the government thought it proper to register a protest because of the frequency of such incidents.
Significantly, as official sources confirmed, India this month also approved the appointment of Pakistan’s new high commissioner Moin-ul-Haque. Pakistani media had earlier reported that India had reservations about Islamabad’s choice of Haque as the new high commissioner.
Haque, who is expected to arrive in Delhi in the third week of August, was Pakistan’s ambassador to France when Islamabad decided in May to send him to India. India will hope Haque will play a positive role in implementing the understanding the two countries have arrived at to make Kartarpur corridor operational.
The two countries have in the past few months used the 1992 Code of Conduct for treatment of diplomatic/consular personnel in India and Pakistan to bring down the number of harassment incidents. On several occasions, things have threatened to fall apart like before Eid this year when both Pakistan and India accused each other of disrupting their respective iftar gatherings.
The two countries are currently in the middle of negotiations to provide Indian consular officials access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, as ordered by the ICJ. The government wants Pakistan to allow Indian officials to talk to him in private. Islamabad has said it will provide consular access “according to Pakistani laws”.
The government is also hoping the euphoria in Pakistan over Islamabad’s, as a source put it, successful gaming of US President Donald Trump‘s Afghanistan strategy will not embolden it to become more unreasonable in talks with India on issues like Jadhav and Kartarpur corridor.
As the government reiterated in Parliament last week, Pakistan is yet to take credible steps to end cross-border terrorism. However, while India is satisfied with the state department’s clarification that there was no change in the US position that Kashmir was a bilateral issue, the US decision to resume military aid to Pakistan in the form of $125 million worth of technical and logistics support for Pakistani F-16 fighter jets has led to the perception that Trump’s remarks were not merely a fleeting mental aberration.