New Delhi: Two days after Pakistan recalled its High Commissioner in India, Sohail Mahmood, for consultations after repeated incidence of "harassment" of its diplomatic staff, a Pakistan newspaper has reported that the country will not send the envoy back till the situation improves.
“Our high commissioner will not return to India anytime soon,” said a senior Pakistan foreign office official to The Express Tribune.
At the time of recall, Pakistan maintained that the envoy was called to Islamabad for "consultations".
"Our High Commissioner in New Delhi has been asked to come to Islamabad for consultations," said Muhammad Faisal, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman.
New Delhi too played down the issue and clarified that it was not an official recall. “He has been called back for consultations. It is pretty normal for an ambassador to go back to his country. It is a routine thing. Indian ambassadors abroad are also called back for discussions frequently,” said Ravish Kumar, spokesperson, MEA.
Kumar said that India is looking into the issues raised by Islamabad, but said that at the same time, the Indian High Commission there has also been facing issues that were raised several months ago.
On Tuesday, the Foreign Office had summoned India's Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh over the alleged harassment of its officials and their families in New Delhi.
The Pakistan Foreign Ministry claimed that the staff and their families have been facing "harassment, intimidation and outright violence" from Indian state agencies in recent weeks.
Last time, it was in 2002 when the two countries recalled their respective high commissioners in the aftermath of an attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001.