Prelims level : International Mains level : Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations
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Why in News:

  • India has issued a public statement of protest over the harassment of guests attending an Iftar party hosted by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.


  • Guests were allegedly intimidated and stopped by Pakistani security force personnel from attending the event. Last winter, for example, Pakistan authorities refused to give clearances for gas connections for heating in the Indian High Commission’s residential complex in Islamabad, despite the biting cold.
  • While Indian authorities reportedly blocked construction workers from entering the Pakistani residential complex in New Delhi to undertake urgent repair work.
  • This cycle of undiplomatic behaviour simply vitiates an atmosphere already fraught with tensions, and must end.
  • Post-elections, the Indian Air Force has removed airspace restrictions, and Pakistan has begun to open airspace routes to and from India that it had closed after the Pulwama attack. Such positive steps need to be augmented. Earlier, Pakistan granted former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj permission to fly over its territory, and India made a similar concession to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister. India and Pakistan have extremely serious issues to resolve. The harassment of diplomats and their guests is a diversion from the issues at hand.
  • With a new government assuming charge in India, and a possible meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, it is likely that both sides will try to turn the page in bilateral ties.
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