Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for India

Newsline: Pakistan summons Afghan, Indian diplomats

Pakistan has summoned diplomats from Afghanistan and India after several shooting incidents along two different borders killed four Pakistani soldiers and a civilian woman. Accusations of firing by both sides across the Afghan-Pakistani border, and by both Indian and Pakistani forces across an old ceasefire line dividing their areas in the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir are common. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-afghanistan-india/pakistan-summons-afghan-indian-diplomats-after-soldiers-civilian-killed-idUSKBN1W004J) The latest incidents come at an especially tense time between Pakistan and India, and as talks between the United States and the Afghan Taliban have broken down. Pakistan’s Foreign Office summoned an Afghan diplomat to account for what it said was firing into Pakistan by militants in Afghanistan, a spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement. The militants shot and killed a Pakistani soldier on patrol in one incident late on Friday. In a second incident, Pakistani forces fencing a section of the border were attacked and three were killed, the ministry said on Saturday. Both incidents occurred in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

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Newsline: London Mayor slammed for filth outside Indian embassy

Noted British columnist Katie Hopkins slammed London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the London administration over the mess that was created outside the Indian embassy following protests by Pakistanis. On Tuesday, thousands of people led by British-Pakistani groups held a protest outside the Indian embassy in London against the withdrawal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The violent protesters threw eggs at the building and also damaged the premises of the embassy. Days later, Katie Hopkins released two videos on Twitter in which she can be seen walking outside the Indian embassy, the gates of which are covered with eggs and other garbage. In her tweet, Hopkins has written, “The Indian Embassy in London – one of our greatest allies – is a filthy mess of eggs and vandalised windows at the hands of Pakistani protesters in the UK. Is the Muslim Mayor of London enabling this behaviour? Why has this not been cleaned up? Deeply shaming for Britain.” (https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/katie-hopkins-slams-london-mayor-for-filth-outside-indian-embassy-1596225-2019-09-06) She squarely blamed Pakistan-origin London Mayor Sadiq Khan for the filth outside the embassy. Condemning the vandalism and protests, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India considered these incidents to be “unacceptable” and have strongly urged the UK to take necessary steps to ensure normal functioning of the Mission and the safety and security of the personnel working at the mission. Sadiq Khan termed the clashes as unacceptable behaviour and called on the police to take action against the perpetrators.

Newsline: 2 held for violent protest outside Indian embassy in London

Two people were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the violent protest outside the Indian High Commissioner in London over Kashmir. (https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/indian-embassy-london-protest-kashmir-arrest-1595404-2019-09-04) In a tweet, news agency ANI said, Two people have been arrested by police in connection with the violent protest outside Indian High Commissioner in London on Tuesday. The arrests came a day after the Indian High Commission in London was vandalised after a protest over Kashmir turned violent.

Newsline: Pakistan downgrades ties with India

Pakistan has announced plans to expel India’s top diplomat and suspend trade with its neighbour, deepening a row between the countries over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Indian-administered Kashmir has been on lockdown since the Indian government decided on Monday to strip the region of its special constitutional status. Phone networks and the internet have been cut off since Sunday evening. Pakistan is expelling India’s high commissioner (the equivalent of an ambassador) from Islamabad. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s newly-appointed envoy, Moin-ul-Haq, was yet to start his role but now will not move to Delhi. Prime Minister Imran Khan has “directed that all diplomatic channels be activated to expose [the] brutal Indian racist regime, design and human rights violations”, a Pakistani government statement said. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49267912) He also directed the armed forces to remain vigilant.

Newsline: Pakistan says will expel Indian ambassador as Kashmir dispute grows

Pakistan said on Wednesday it would expel India’s ambassador and suspend bilateral trade with its arch-rival after New Delhi stripped its portion of the contested Kashmir region of special status. Neighbors China and Pakistan, which both claim parts of the region, have voiced fierce opposition to India’s move dropping a constitutional provision that had allowed the country’s only Muslim-majority state to make its own laws. Moin-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s newly-appointed ambassador to India, had yet to take up his post but will now not move to New Delhi, while Indian Ambassador Ajay Bisaria will be expelled, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a telephone interview with Pakistani TV channel ARY News. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-kashmir-pakistan/pakistan-says-will-expel-indian-ambassador-as-kashmir-dispute-grows-idUSKCN1UX1KT?il=0) “It is very obvious that our ambassador wouldn’t be in Delhi, and obviously the man who is here will also leave,” Qureshi said.

Newsline: German ambassador causes outrage visiting fascist Indian group

German ambassador to India, Walter Lindner, provoked outrage and an online petition calling for his recall to Germany, after he visited the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS] organization, a right-wing, Hindu nationalist group. (https://www.jpost.com/International/German-ambassadors-visit-to-right-wing-Indian-group-causes-outrage-596871) The RSS is a controversial, extremist paramilitary-style volunteer organization connected to India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. It shares fascist ideology supporting Hindu nationalism and anti-Christian an anti-Muslim beliefs. During World War II, RSS leader M.S Golwalkar openly admired Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and took inspiration from Adolf Hitler’s ideology of racial purity. In 1939, he wrote, “To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races — the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here.” He said it was “a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.” The RSS has been banned several times throughout its history, and has been incriminated in instigating anti-Christian and anti-Muslim violence in India, including involvement in the 1992 demolition of the 16th-century Babri mosque.

Newsline: India says diplomats, embassy guests harassed by Pakistani security in Islamabad

India accused Pakistani security services of widespread harassment at an Indian embassy event in the capital Islamabad a day earlier, alleging that hundreds of guests were turned away and some of New Delhi’s diplomats were “threatened”. Guests arriving for a dinner at the luxury Serena Hotel in Islamabad faced “unprecedented harassment and intimidation” at the hands of Pakistani security agencies that even used a forklift truck to remove the cars of some attendees, according to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. India said about 300 guests were turned away from attending Saturday’s iftar dinner at the hotel, where many embassies host such functions during the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims break their day-long fast at sunset with an iftar meal. The Indian High Commission, asking Pakistan to investigate, said some of its officials and diplomats were “jostled, pushed, abused, aggressively threatened with bodily harm” and in some cases had their phones snatched by Pakistani security officials. “The disappointing chain of events on June 1 not only violate basic norms of diplomatic conduct but are against all notions of civilized behavior,” the Indian High Commission said in a statement. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-india/india-says-diplomats-embassy-guests-harassed-by-pakistani-security-in-islamabad-idUSKCN1T30J4) Pakistan’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But India’s allegations follow similar complaints by Pakistan about the way Indian security forces behaved outside Pakistan National Day celebrations at the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi in March.