India, Pak agree to resolve diplomatic spat

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New Delhi, March 30

After three weeks of severe strain in ties and drama on issues of harassment of each other’s diplomats in respective missions, India and Pakistan on Friday decided to de-escalate tension.In statements released by the foreign ministries almost simultaneously, the two sides said, “India and Pakistan have mutually agreed to resolve matters related to the treatment of diplomats and diplomatic premises, in line with the 1992 ‘Code of Conduct’ for treatment of diplomatic/consular personnel.”Amid bloodshed along the LoC and International Border, bilateral relations soured further when Pakistan lodged formal complaints about “intimidation” of its diplomats and children in Delhi by alleged security agents. High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood met Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale first on March 8, while the High Commission circulated  videos to cite as proof. Later, Mahmood was called to Islamabad, where, a senior Pakistani official said, he was advised to help normalise  the situation “as the Pakistani forces were focused on Afghanistan border”.After Pakistan upped the ante, India went public with its protests, calling harassment of the Indian High Commissioner and diplomatic staff in Islamabad a new normal. The MEA sent more than a dozen note verbales.

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