Pakistan not to attend WTO meet starting today

Mar 19, 2018, 00:24
Pakistan not to attend WTO meet starting today

Officials rejected allegations that Indian diplomatic staff were also facing hurdles and harassment in Pakistan.

Pakistan has informed India that it will not be sending its Minister of Commerce Pervez Malik to India even as India gears up to host an informal meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) beginning on Monday.

Pakistan has made a decision to not take part in the World Trade Organization meeting in New Delhi next week as a protest over alleged harassment of its diplomats in India.

The diplomatic source was further quoted as claiming that children of Pakistan's deputy high commissioner were stopped and harassed while they were going to school.

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The government said on Sunday that 50 nations will engage in free and frank discussions on global trade in New Delhi this week to explore the options for resolving various issues and re-invigorating the WTO.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is weighing options to deal with the situation in the wake of calling back of its High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood from New Delhi due to alleged harassment of diplomats in India.

Also, the website of the Indian high commission continues to be intermittently blocked causing inconvenience and affecting the normal functioning of the mission, the sources said.

"Another Note Verbale was sent today by Indian High Commission in Islamabad to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan protesting against the intimidation and harassment of Indian High Commission officials".

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The Pakistan High Commissioner's comments came a day when two more incidents of harassment were reported against their diplomats in Delhi, taking the number of incidents of harassment and intimidation up to at least 26 in the last eight days. In a 12th complaint, India alleged that some bike-borne men harassed an Indian diplomat and his family in Islamabad.

However, Indian sources said that the standoff was months old, when in May past year, Pakistani government "intermittently blocked Indian government websites in Pakistan" and "visa seekers faced trouble".

However, New Delhi stressed that Pakistani official are not the only ones complaining. Meanwhile, New Delhi maintained that it uses diplomatic channels, and not the media, to protest.

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