Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Pakistan not to take part in WTO meet in New Delhi

Pakistan not to take part in WTO meet in New Delhi

Pakistan commerce minister Pervaiz Malik, who was invited to India to participate in the WTO ministerial meeting slated to be held between March 19 to 20, called off his visit to protest against the "unprecedented intimidation".

According to the sources, two incidents were highlighted in the note.

Last week, Pakistan recalled its envoy to Delhi Sohail Mahmood for consultations following incidents of alleged harassment of its diplomatic staff in New Delhi.

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.

India and Pakistan have accused each others' security agents of a peculiar form of harassment - ringing the doorbells of each others' diplomatic residencies and then running away.

Apart from Pakistan, India has also invited ministers from Australia, China, European Union the USA and several African countries to the conference starting on Monday.

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Amidst recent diplomatic standoff between the neighbouring countries of India and Pakistan, media reports on Saturday said that "Pakistan was pulling out of the WTO ministerial meet in India due to the current situation. This was the 12th Note Verbale this year on the subject", reported news agency ANI, quoting sources.

On 15th March, another officer and his family were aggressively followed by two men on the motorbike when he was going to a restaurant. "Videos were made using mobile phone", the sources said.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the Indian High Commission in Islamabad was also facing a "litany of issues" that have not been resolved for several months.

The Indian government has also alleged that "the website of the High Commission continues to be intermittently blocked, causing inconvenience and affecting the normal functioning of the Mission".

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.

However, New Delhi did not fail to bring to attention that Pakistan was allegedly responsible for carrying out an equivalent campaign of harassment against its own diplomats posted in Islamabad, accusing Pakistani intelligence agents for having entered the embassy's residential compound.

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