Harassment of diplomats: Pakistan, India agree to mutually resolve issue

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As per the 1992 code of conduct, the two countries would ensure "smooth and unhindered functioning of their diplomatic and consular officials in conformity with recognised norms of global law and practice".

After weeks of allegations and counter allegations over harassment of each other's diplomats, Pakistan and India have agreed to resolve matter in line with 1992 bilateral "Code of Conduct" on treatment of diplomatic and consular staff in their respective countries.

India and Pakistan have agreed to resolve through talks all issues regarding treatment of their diplomats stationed in the other country, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said today. A similar statement was simultaneously issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office in Islamabad.

"We have asked for immediate resolution of these issues faced by our High Commission in Islamabad so that the safety and security of the diplomatic mission and our diplomatic and consular officials is assured", he said.

While the meeting was held amidst very strained relations between the two nations with no halt on terrorism from Pakistans end, sources in India said that the meeting was attended by the Indian side only because it is mandated under the treaty.

The Code provides for "smooth and unhindered functioning" of the diplomatic and consular officials of the two countries in conformity with the worldwide laws without violating their privileges and immunities.

Pakistan said that over 50 incidents of harassment of its diplomats and their families took place between March 7 and 23 in New Delhi. He, however, returned to New Delhi on March 22. Interestingly, the announcement comes even as Indian high commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria assured businessmen at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry that he would try to maximise visas issued for trade.

After Mr Mahmood's return to Delhi, the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India met the high commissioners of the other side in their capitals and reached this agreement.

Earlier on March 19, two separate incidents of intimidation of four High Commission officials were reported by the sources. The Indian government sources had also said Pakistani security agencies were resorting to "aggressive surveillance, violation of physical space and tailing of officers in close and unsafe proximity".

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