Pak won’t send back its envoy to India any time soon: Foreign Office

Islamabad: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood is unlikely to return to New Delhi any time soon, an official of the Pakistan Foreign Office, was quoted, as saying by the Express Tribune, on condition of anonymity.

The daily further quoted the unnamed official of the Foreign Office, as saying that Islamabad has decided not to send High Commissioner Mahmood back to New Delhi until the overall situation regarding treatment of diplomatic staff and their families is resolved.

“Our high commissioner will not return to India anytime soon,” the senior Foreign Office official was quoted by the Express Tribune, as saying just hours after Mahmood returned from New Delhi on Friday.

The official told the daily that the high commissioner would stay back for an indefinite period. Initially, it was thought that he would return to New Delhi after consultations with relevant authorities.

The External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi has described the Pakistan envoy’s return to Islamabad as a routine affair.

It may be recalled that in 2002, high commissioners of Pakistan and India were recalled to their respective countries following the December 13, 2001 terror attack on the Indian parliament.

Tensions between both countries are already running high because of frequent cease-fire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working International Boundary.

According to the Express tribune, the immediate fallout of ties taking a turn for the worse is reportedly not allowing about 500 Pakistani pilgrims to attend the annual Urs of revered Sufi saint Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer Sharif, Rajasthan. They were supposed to travel to India on March 18, but have reportedly not been granted visas by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

The annual Urs is scheduled to start on March 19 and continue till March 29. (ANI with inputs)