India nixes Pak intel Operative

New Delhi: India-Pakistan ties continute to go from bad to worse as the two countries are now locked in a face off over denial of visa by Indian authorities to a Pakistan foreign ministry official.

Even after the visa was formally denied last week, Islamabad refused to withdraw the application it had filed on behalf of the official saying that the denial by India was “unprecedented”.

It is learnt though that Indian authorities are in a peeve about the denial of visa last month to 2 yoga instructors whom the government had hired to lead the International Day of Yoga celebrations in Islamabad on June 21. According to Pakistan, the applications filed by India for the yoga instructors are still under consideration.

According to sources the official is believed to be an ISI operative, Pakistan’s intelligence agency. This may spark a tit for tat diplomatic war between the yep countries.

Pakistan wanted to post the official at its high commission here and had applied for a diplomatic assignment visa for him. Pakistan authorities have now taken up the issue with India saying this was unacceptable.

The visa imbroglio is the latest in a series of undesirable events which have marred all attempts to impart even a semblance of normalcy in ties. Relations went into freefall after the release of Mumbai attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, rendering ineffective PM Narendra Modi’s successful outreach in March in the form of a visit by foreign secretary S Jaishankar to Islamabad.

Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said in her recent news conference that talks with Pakistan could take place only in an environment free of terror and that this “zone” could be created only if Pakistan took action against Lakhvi. The 2 countries were involved in another acrimonious exchange last week over elections in Gilgit-Baltistan which India described as an attempt by Islamabad to “camouflage its forcible and illegal occupation of the regions.”


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