‘Naya Pakistan’ To Invite Indian Diplomats To Islamabad Club?

Is Imran Khan-led government taking a step towards mending the ties between Pakistan & India by opening the prestigious Islamabad Club to the Indian diplomats?

Islamabad Club is an exclusive club whose membership comprises government officials, diplomats and the elite of Islamabad. The diplomatic enclave and government offices are nearby.

And for months the membership application of the Indian diplomats, including the Indian high commissioner Ajay Bisaria were not approved.

But now with the new government in place, there are talks that the problem is to be solved.

According to reports, Pakistan is likely to issue no objection certificates for the membership application of the Indian diplomats. The approval has been pending for over 9 months, waiting for an approval from Pakistan’s interior ministry.

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With Prime Minister Imran Khan calling the shots in Pakistan, the scope of mending the relationship between the two countries might be on the right track after the hostility witnesses by both the countries over the harassment of diplomats in New Delhi and Islamabad earlier this year

This approval will be seen as another sign of taking a step to resolve the tension between the nations, particularly in the absence of any formal dialogue process.

The Pakistan government had many times taken up the issue with Islamabad and said that denying approval for memberships to Indian diplomats leads to discrimination against them. Indian diplomats were also not allowed to avail facilities like Delhi Gymkhana and Delhi Golf Club.

India and Pakistan have put a 1992 code of conduct back on the table, which is in place to check any kind of harassment faced by a diplomatic staff.

The diplomat harassment issue for India and the new government in Pakistan is effectively the first hurdle in bilateral ties which they can ill-afford to fail at.

The Foreign Minister of Pakistan and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj are likely to meet at SAARC and Commonwealth meetings during the United Nations General Assembly. So far the possibility of at least a pull aside is not ruled out yet.


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