Pakistan dropped out of India’s WTO meeting says sources

New Delhi: Pakistan has reportedly dropped out of the WTO ministerial meet to be held in this month in India according to the sources Islamabad.

Around 40 countries have been invited by India for the WTO ministerial meet that is scheduled for 19-20 March.

Earlier in February, Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Perviaz Malik had confirmed Pakistan’s participation in the meeting, however, Islamabad’s diplomatic sources said that “Pakistan was pulling out of the WTO ministerial meet in India due to the current situation,”

While an Indian official was quoted saying, “It was Pakistan’s decision to pull out at the last minute, and the Indian side could not comment on it.”

India and Pakistan are alleging harassment of their diplomats in the two countries, with sources reported that, “India sent a note verbale to Pakistan on Friday with seven points highlighting in chronological order incidents of Indian diplomats being harassed.”

Pakistan had earlier this week asked its High Commissioner to India, Sohail Mahmood to return home alleging its diplomats in India were being harassed also accusing Indian officials of intimidating children of a senior diplomat.

However, Indian sources state the standoff between the two countries started last year after Pakistani government “intermittently blocked Indian government websites in Pakistan” and “visa seekers faced trouble,” which was followed by reports of harassment of Indian diplomats in Pakistan’s Islamabad who were facing power and gas supply issues along with ringing of doorbells by unknown persons in the middle of the night.

India will be hosting the second WTO meeting to discuss on various issues and challenges relating to the multilateral trading system. The first WTO meeting was held in 2009, DC reported.