Indian diplomats to pull out kids from schools in Pakistan

Published: July 25, 2016
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Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Tuesday. PHOTO: MEA INDIA

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Tuesday. PHOTO: MEA INDIA

Amidst simmering tensions between India and Pakistan over the current unrest in the disputed territory of Kashmir, India has asked its diplomats to withdraw their children from schools in Islamabad in a move described by an Indian official as a ‘downgrade’ of the diplomatic mission.

Islamabad, however, dismissed the move as an “informal, internal, administrative” arrangement of the Indian government. “With effect from this academic session, officials posted in the High Commission of India in Islamabad have been advised to make arrangements for education of their wards outside Pakistan, till further notice,” a spokesperson for India’s external affairs ministry said in a statement.

Rejecting ‘Indian aggression’: JI plans Wagah border march next week

“It is a normal practice for all countries to review staffing and related policies for their diplomatic missions, including in view of prevailing circumstances at those stations,” the ministry spokesperson, Vikas Swarup, added.

There are about 50 children of Indian diplomats and other officials currently studying in Islamabad’s American School. In Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria confirmed the decision had been ‘informally’ conveyed to Pakistan around one and a half month back.

“They conveyed informally that their government has taken this decision as an internal, administrative and informal arrangement,” Zakaria told The Express Tribune. He refused further comments on the matter.

It is unclear why New Delhi has taken this decision, though an Indian official told The Indian Express newspaper that it “amounts to a downgrade of Pakistan as a non-school-going station”.

And Indian officials did not rule out a ‘tit-for-tat’ response by Islamabad in the form of recall of children of Pakistani diplomats from India, according to the Times of India newspaper.

Some media reports indicated the move was linked to the simmering tensions between the two nuclear armed neighbours in the wake of current unrest in the disputed Kashmir region.

Pakistan to appeal UN for Kashmir observers

The two countries have been engaged in an escalating verbal duel since violence broke out in Kashmir following the killing of a popular separatist leader Burhan Wani. Indian security forces used brute force to quell widespread protests triggered by Wani’s killing by police on July 8.

And since then, 50-plus Kashmir civilians have been killed and thousands others injured. Unabated Indian atrocities angered Pakistan as the government officially announced a ‘black day’ on July 20. Rallies were staged across the country to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

A day earlier, Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan Day was also observed in the country. In view of growing public anger, the Indian government had appealed to Pakistan to strengthen security for Indian officials stationed there.

“In view of the threats of marches and protests at the High Commission of India in Islamabad, we ask the government of Pakistan to ensure full safety and security of the High Commission, all its officials and their families in Pakistan,” it had said in a statement after the ‘black day’.

India has dismissed Pakistan’s protest and instead accused Islamabad of fuelling violence in the disputed Himalayan region. External Affairs Minister Sushma Sawraj on Saturday called Kashmir an ‘integral part of India’ and said that “Pakistan’s dream of Kashmir becoming its part will never turn into a reality.”

A day later, Premier Nawaz Sharif’s top foreign policy aide Sartaj Aziz rebuked Sushma and reminded her that Kashmir was an internationally recognised dispute, and that it was the Kashmiris’ right to decide the future of the state.

Islamabad rejects New Delhi’s claim on Kashmir

The ongoing insurrection in Kashmir has further dimmed hopes for the revival of a bilateral peace process which has been dormant since a terrorist attack on an Indian airbase in Pathankot, near the border with Pakistan, on January 2, 2016.

New Delhi had blamed the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad militant group for the attack and linked revival of talks with action against perpetrators.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said on Monday that dialogue between India and Pakistan was not possible due to India’s hostile behavior towards Kashmir and Pakistan.“Dialogue between India and Pakistan is not possible in the present circumstances,” he said during the Senate’s Defence Committee session. “India’s hostile behavior towards Kashmir and Pakistan is an obstacle in carrying out smooth process of dialogue between the neighbourly countries.

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Reader Comments (74)

  • Anz
    Jul 25, 2016 - 9:37PM

    sensibleRecommend

  • Ramesh Krishnan
    Jul 25, 2016 - 9:45PM

    Somebody is targeting the kids..? That’s something to worry about considering earlier incidents involving children…Recommend

  • hamza
    Jul 25, 2016 - 9:49PM

    great decision….proves how immature indians are. hahahahaRecommend

  • hnr
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:04PM

    In uncertain times children should not be held hsotageRecommend

  • fahad
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:07PM

    Go ahead. Your bullying would only work with Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Situation is different with Pakistan and the sooner India realises that, the better it is for her.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:09PM

    Good move. Pakistani schools are not safe anyway with all the terrorist attacks after APS and Bacha Khan. And not to mention the quality of education. Bring them back to India and let them stay here.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:20PM

    Now what are all the madrassas gonna do ??Recommend

  • Rahul
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:23PM

    India should downgrade its embassy in Islamabad to consular service. Why maintain embassy if it serves no purpose.Recommend

  • NY
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:28PM

    Incomprehensible. Recommend

  • salman
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:38PM

    Why those 50 young RAW agents were allowed to study in Pakistan at first place ? Kick them out along with their Afghan refugees. Recommend

  • Mohammad Inaam
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:42PM

    This warning from India should be taken as a precursor of a RAW plan as security must be beefed up for children of diplomats. This can potentially create many problems as did the attack on Srilankan team.Recommend

  • Ali
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:45PM

    Why punish the children? Government acting like divorced parents. Grow up and keep the families togetherRecommend

  • kamal
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:47PM

    @Anz: Quite right. The infamous ISI has even penetrated the syllabus of the Islamabad American School (whose syllabus is governed by the US Middle Schools). We have managed to also show IOK as part of PAkistan in the US school maps. Our Foreign office is finally doing something right. For crying out loud. What a tantrum the Indian Foreign Ministry is throwing. But alas, all this does not stop the slow but sure slide of IOK away from India. Recommend

  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Jul 25, 2016 - 11:23PM

    What is this? What is in offing? Should we be proud of it or ashamed, I wish you decided as I surrender myself before you? Iqbal Hadi ZaidiRecommend

  • Hashaam
    Jul 25, 2016 - 11:31PM

    It’s amazing how something as simple as a few controversial comments can induce such a reaction from India. Not that I’m complaining. Good riddance to them. Recommend

  • Sunil
    Jul 25, 2016 - 11:36PM

    Anything can happen in Pakistan. Amjad Sabri, Sabeen Mehmud,lost their lives to maniacs, who became targets. A lawless country.Recommend

  • Jul 25, 2016 - 11:41PM

    India must stop genocide in innocent Kashmir’s in IOK!Recommend

  • Javaid Randhawa
    Jul 26, 2016 - 12:02AM

    Y waited upto now. Reduce strength at the level of peon or driver.Recommend

  • Athiest
    Jul 26, 2016 - 12:36AM

    We should cut all ties with Pakistan, nothing good comes out of having relations with you guys. Recommend

  • Chacha Jee
    Jul 26, 2016 - 12:44AM

    Unfortunately, india has 200 million Muslims pakistanis on its soil. All should be thrown to Pakistan.Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav
    Jul 26, 2016 - 1:11AM

    @salman:
    Those 50 “RAW” agents were there to see how hundreds of potential “terrorists” are taught in Pakistani schools.Recommend

  • Dhad
    Jul 26, 2016 - 1:11AM

    @Hashaam:
    Are you really that ignorant?
    When two countries are not in good terms over a matter, there is a very good chance there might be an increase in hostility.
    What could happen is that some radical groups in Pakistan could hold kids for ransom against Kashmir.
    Also if it doesn’t , there’s a good chance that Pakistan and India may ask their respective embassies to vacate their premises. Then the children who already had half their education in one country, might have to go to another.Recommend

  • Fahim
    Jul 26, 2016 - 1:18AM

    @Javaid Randhawa:
    Even they are not requiredRecommend

  • MF
    Jul 26, 2016 - 1:24AM

    Instead of recalling the kids from schools, they should recall the pellet guns from Kashmir.Recommend

  • Anon
    Jul 26, 2016 - 1:42AM

    Good…now India should also kick out pak artists, celebraties who come India Recommend

  • Ajeet
    Jul 26, 2016 - 1:52AM

    @MF: Time to use live ones and be ready to accept all Muslims from India.Recommend

  • Ajeet
    Jul 26, 2016 - 2:05AM

    The embassy staff too can be withdrawn. The only people the embassy staff helps are the Muslims on both sides Recommend

  • Hashaam
    Jul 26, 2016 - 2:19AM

    @Dhad: Of course you would think that way. You Indians always try your utmost to defend the decisions made by your country, no matter how immature they are.Recommend

  • Khilari
    Jul 26, 2016 - 2:24AM

    Beware! Indians are upto something.Recommend

  • Khidmat
    Jul 26, 2016 - 2:26AM

    Good riddance. Take them [email protected]: Recommend

  • Khidmat
    Jul 26, 2016 - 2:28AM

    Yes, anything, as chankya mind is in action after Kashmir. Beware, beware [email protected]: Recommend

  • Bilal Hussain
    Jul 26, 2016 - 2:31AM

    Why so many studying. Reduce the number of wanna be raw agents!!Recommend

  • Truth
    Jul 26, 2016 - 2:40AM

    Why don’t you just withdraw all your “Indian” Diplomats and get out of our country for good?!?!Recommend

  • J.Niaz
    Jul 26, 2016 - 2:53AM

    Someone tell them schools are closed for summer vacations.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Jul 26, 2016 - 2:57AM

    @Hashaam: ” … You Indians always try your utmost to defend the decisions made by your country, no matter how immature they are. … ”

    Country above all else my friend.

    And the decision is a very sensible one. People who do not value their own lives will not value others lives.Recommend

  • Dervaish Khan
    Jul 26, 2016 - 3:07AM

    So after APS and Bacha Khan university, RAW is going to orchestrate another school massacre, may be in the red zone of Islamabad this time.Recommend

  • Lolz
    Jul 26, 2016 - 3:09AM

    @Chacha Jee: Your Bollywood is ruled by those muslims. Only muslims are creative in India, as it has been shown by this crazy decision. LolzRecommend

  • sss sydney
    Jul 26, 2016 - 3:11AM

    with immediate effect Pakistan should expel most indian embassy officials except bare minimum….India is committing war crimes in Kashmir and should be confronted on all international forumsRecommend

  • Hashaam
    Jul 26, 2016 - 4:05AM

    @Arijit Sharma: Can’t you see just how much of a degenerative mindset that is? Recommend

  • ajeet
    Jul 26, 2016 - 4:07AM

    @Lolz:
    That’s even Muslims are not safe in Pakistan and Muslim artists take refuge in India Recommend

  • Azi
    Jul 26, 2016 - 4:21AM

    For own political gains, ruin lives of children. Sounds like something Indians would proudly do.Recommend

  • Gp65
    Jul 26, 2016 - 4:58AM

    @Hashaam:
    The PM of a country calling leader of a UN designated terror group as martyr is not a minor controversial statement nor is Parliament of a country observing a black day for the death of the same individual.

    If one country tries to achieve through terror, what it cannot achieve through through talks, then the other country is bound to find that unacceptable.Recommend

  • Hashaam
    Jul 26, 2016 - 5:27AM

    @Gp65: So acknowledging the efforts of someone who opted to stand up and fight against the oppressive regime that has belittled and discriminated against millions of his people is now an act of terrorism? And historically speaking, those who have resisted against governmental establishments in the past have always been labelled as terrorists as opposed to being referred to as freedom fighters, regardless of how pure their intentions have been.Recommend

  • Khidmat
    Jul 26, 2016 - 5:59AM

    Not all, only two misguided souls who were never born in Pakistan, mind you. Stop giving yourself [email protected]: Recommend

  • Kajamohiden
    Jul 26, 2016 - 7:01AM

    And why are Muslims not creative in [email protected]: Recommend

  • ajeet
    Jul 26, 2016 - 7:19AM

    The western missions have already done this. Why did it take so long for the Indian government to take this decision? Recommend

  • Shakti
    Jul 26, 2016 - 8:00AM

    I am all for settling this issue one way or another. It is high time. India should strive to get back every inch of her land that she has a 5000 year association with.Recommend

  • wiserneighbour
    Jul 26, 2016 - 8:12AM

    @hasham,the same logic goes to Baluchistan fighters.Why you kill them and dump their body on roadside?Recommend

  • Ibrahim
    Jul 26, 2016 - 8:59AM

    @Shakti:
    What an immature comment!Recommend

  • FAZ
    Jul 26, 2016 - 9:21AM

    @wiserneighbour:
    Do you see any wide spread protests over those killings? Do you see Indian flags being wavied on mass scale?Recommend

  • Jul 26, 2016 - 9:52AM

    If the Indian High Commission takes Indian Children out of schools then we must follow suit. Why? There must be a hidden and unscrupulous Indian hand in some form of intrigue. Salams Recommend

  • Jul 26, 2016 - 10:46AM

    @Rahul, abt quality of education, were indian diplomats so dumb that they need ur advice by now, or they were in siesta uptill now, and going by ur logic these children MUST not be send back to india as they will turn into new Ajmal kasab?Recommend

  • shafi
    Jul 26, 2016 - 10:52AM

    @Rahul, abt quality of education, were indian diplomats so dumb that they need ur advice by now, or they were in siesta uptill now, and going by ur logic these children MUST not be send back to india as they will turn into new Ajmal kasab?Recommend

  • naeemhussain
    Jul 26, 2016 - 11:19AM

    @Rahul:
    Sure go ahead do it. India is never ashamed of its brutality not just Kashmir but in all the countries of our region.Recommend

  • Marcos
    Jul 26, 2016 - 12:33PM

    @FAZ: Unlike Pakistan India does not interfere in countries internal affairs…that’s why u don’t see Indian flag in Baluchistan.Recommend

  • Frest
    Jul 26, 2016 - 12:46PM

    @Lolz:
    Yeah the same Muslims who refused to join your pathetic excuse of a country!Recommend

  • Sunil
    Jul 26, 2016 - 12:52PM

    Why not go all the way? Like shutdown the mission and have no ties. Why do we want to have anything to do with Pakistan? It’s good to see the kids will study somewhere else, we do not need them to be brainwashed.Recommend

  • Lolz
    Jul 26, 2016 - 1:33PM

    @Kajamohiden: There is a huge difference between best sellers and creative geniuses. After all Indian hues and cries against Pakistan in the west, why do you think Pakistan is still an ally to US? Strange to you, isn’t it? Recommend

  • Lolz
    Jul 26, 2016 - 1:37PM

    @ajeet: That is not the case I guess. They can’t choose to die in hunger at a slum. It is a slow and torturous death I suspect. Recommend

  • roadkashehzada
    Jul 26, 2016 - 1:52PM

    indian diplomats can send their kids to schools in Kabul or TehranRecommend

  • Prada
    Jul 26, 2016 - 3:24PM

    Looks like the pieces are finally fitting. With Trump sure to be the next president, one gets a feeling that the decks are being cleared for something big. Trump has already made his views known on Pakistan. Maybe that is the solution. Who knows? Recommend

  • Hashaam
    Jul 26, 2016 - 4:52PM

    @wiserneighbour: What’s happening over in Balochistan is nowhere close to the degree of turmoil that is happening, and has previously happened in Kashmir.Recommend

  • Srinivasulu Mekala
    Jul 26, 2016 - 5:14PM

    Going by the news article and Pakistani comments thereto, both sides will be happy if the diplomatic relations are severed totally. By extension, both sides want a massive war. Amen.Recommend

  • Khidmat
    Jul 26, 2016 - 6:52PM

    Go ahead, bring it on and there goes UN seat of India and all the, so called, economic progress.we have nothing to lose as we don’t have anything. Want to try [email protected] Mekala: Recommend

  • kadwa sach
    Jul 26, 2016 - 8:47PM

    @fahad:
    The truth is nothing is safe in Pakistan. Innocent children can easily become victims and targets of terrorists that dot Pakistan’s violent culture. Bring the kids back home and better be safe than sorry.Recommend

  • Shameless
    Jul 27, 2016 - 12:16AM

    Dr. Subramanian Swami of BJP, a year ago, said in a television interview that the only solution to the Kashmir problem is a decisive war against Pakistan and latter must be nuked if India is interested in a peaceful Subcontinent. It reflects the mindset of Indian leadership and their interest for the peace but still if someone is interested in presenting the other cheek to the Indian hardliners then he is certainly living in a fools’ paradise.Recommend

  • Aditya
    Jul 27, 2016 - 5:38AM

    @Shameless

    It reflects the mindset of Indian leadership and their interest for the peace but still if
    someone is interested in presenting the other cheek to the Indian hardliners then he is
    certainly living in a fools’paradise.

    You certainly don’t hear the voices coming out of your country. You certainly don’t watch your news channels, you certainly don’t hear your leader speak. Or maybe, you are like rest of your countrymen – blame everything on India. Well, that strategy looks working for you – doesn’t it?Recommend

  • Green
    Jul 27, 2016 - 10:18AM

    I’m so happy to see in the comments section that for the first time Pakistanis are giving answers to abusive Indians in their own way.Recommend

  • FAZ
    Jul 27, 2016 - 12:03PM

    @Marcos:
    Remember Mukti Bahni and your PM’s recent confessions in Bangladesh?Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Jul 28, 2016 - 12:41AM

    @FAZ:
    You should also remember that ex President Musharraf confessed:
    “Today we (Muslims) are the poorest, the most illiterate, the most backward, the most unhealthy, the most un-enlightened, the most deprived, and the weakest of all the human race”.
    That makes you and me to be stupid. Do you agree with him?Recommend

  • Saad
    Jul 28, 2016 - 1:35AM

    Why children only? Indian diplomats should be kicked out as well. What’s the need for having diplomatic relations with a bullying neighbour?Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Jul 29, 2016 - 12:57AM

    @Saad:
    Were you educated at a madrassa? Donald Trump has suggested that he would stop Muslims entering USA. Does it mean you want to kick out the Americans out of Pakistan? if so, they would wipe us out or return us to stone age.
    Stop living in a cloud cuckoo land and get quality education – not those brainwashed by Mullahs.Recommend

  • Shameless
    Jul 29, 2016 - 3:24AM

    @Iqbal:
    Was Donald Trump educated at a Madrassa? Or the millions of americans who support him are getting their education at a Madrassa?

    Get over your inferiority complex fast before you can’t even recognize the diff between right & wrong. Recommend

  • FAZ
    Jul 29, 2016 - 3:38PM

    @Iqbal:
    Comparing a “confession” of state sponsored terrorism by a head of state to a “confession” of something that has to do with incorrect policies, failure to adapt to changing times, corruption, bad governance etc doesn’t make me look like a stupid.Recommend

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