Diplomat doorbell pranks reflect rise in Indian-Pakistan tensions

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Pakistan commerce minister Pervaiz Malik, who was invited to India to participate in the WTO ministerial meeting slated to be held between March 19 to 20, called off his visit to protest against the "unprecedented intimidation".

In the two fresh incidents on Sunday, one Indian diplomat going to a restaurant in Islamabad was "aggressively" followed by some people in a auto while in the second incident, four Indian diplomats travelling in an official vehicle on their way to a market were tailed by two people on a motorcycle.

Pakistan's decision to stay away from the WTO meeting coincides with Islamabad calling its high commissioner to India Sohail Mehmood "for consultations" after alleged "harassment" of Pakistani diplomats.

India will be hosting the second WTO meeting to discuss on various issues and challenges relating to the multilateral trading system.

India onSunday gave yet another Note Verbale to Pakistan through its high commission in Islamabad protesting the "intimidation and harassment" of mission officials, the 13th such diplomatic note in less than three months.

Indian diplomats and officials in Pakistan have been facing constant harassment at the hands of unknown people.

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India reportedly sent a note verbale to Pakistan on Friday with seven points highlighting in chronological order incidents of Indian diplomats being harassed.

Indian officials said that the standoff was months old, when in May previous year, Pakistani government "intermittently blocked Indian government websites in Pakistan" and "visa seekers faced trouble". The official defended the move, asserting that current situations it was not possible for the high commissioner to operate out of New Delhi.

Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said Thursday that the government did not "wish to respond to these issues through the media but through established diplomatic channels".

Then there were complaints that power supply and gas was being shut to a residential complex in Islamabad for Indian diplomats, followed by door bells being rung late at night.

The diplomatic source was further quoted as claiming that children of Pakistan's deputy high commissioner were stopped and harassed while they were going to school.

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