ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Tuesday rejected Kabul’s allegation of mistreatment of its ambassador to Pakistan and stressed adherence to diplomatic norms.
“The Government of Pakistan extends due respect and courtesies and expects that the foreign envoys conform to the established diplomatic norms and principles,” the FO stated while rejecting the Afghan foreign ministry’s assertion of “mistreatment” of its envoy.
The Afghan foreign ministry had earlier alleged that its Ambassador in Islamabad Atif Mashal was summoned by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and conduct of “the entity’s personnel” was in “contradiction with diplomatic norms and principles”. The Afghan foreign ministry had not mentioned when the incident took place.
The war of words between Islamabad and Kabul over the alleged harassment of diplomats began on Sunday when Pakistan government said that officers and staff of Pakistan embassy in Kabul were “obstructed on the road and the embassy vehicles were also hit by motorcycles while going towards the embassy”. The consular section of Pakistan embassy later suspended its services.
Afghan Charge d Affaires was summoned to the FO for conveying “serious concerns” over the safety and security of the personnel of Pakistan’s diplomatic missions in Afghanistan.
The latest FO statement pointed towards continuing harassment of Pakistani diplomats and embassy staff as it said the incidents had been happening for the past few days.
“We urge the Afghan authorities to take immediate steps to ensure safety and security of the personnel of Pakistan’s diplomatic Missions in Afghanistan,” the FO added.
The Afghan foreign ministry’s statement had earlier pledged to “seriously investigate” the alleged harassment of Pakistan embassy personnel and offered assurance to provide safety to them.
Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2019