Pakistani high commissioner to New Delhi seems to be on poor terms with all Indian dignitaries for his hawkish personality and unnecessary aggression, a leading Pakistani daily said on Wednesday, highlighting that the top diplomat hasn’t even been able to meet the Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj yet.
Abdul Basit, who was appointed as the high commissioner in New Delhi in February 2014, is being treated as a ‘persona-non-grata’ by the Indian authorities and hence, has not been allowed to meet Swaraj or high profile dignitary, reports the Daily Times.
The Pakistani daily quoted its sources that external affairs minister Swaraj did not entertain repeated requests of Basit for formal meetings for his hawkish personality and unnecessary aggression. The report added: “None of the policy makers in India feel like meeting him. He doesn’t enjoy personal rapport with any important Indian official.”
While the job high commissioner in New Delhi is regarded as one of the most important diplomatic assignments given the intricate nature of relations between the two arch-rivals, his rigid stance has failed to establish any rapport with the Indian authorities.
According to the report, the Indian authorities have verbally and informally appealed to Pakistan at several occasions to replace Basit with someone else, following which the Pakistani foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry had also raised the matter with the high commissioner and advised him to keep his cool during tough situations.
Though the foreign secretary is said to have wanted the high commissioner to dispel the impression that he was a hawk and always would be no matter whatever the circumstances between the two neighbouring countries is, Basit’s rigid stance has also led to loggerheads with the former at several occasions.
Nafees Zakria, Pakistan foreign office spokesperson has denied that there were differences between Chaudhry and Basit but, he refused to comment on the fact that the high commissioner never called on the Indian external affairs minister or any other high profile Indian official.
The Lahore-based daily also quoted an Indian official saying, “Whenever we want to issue a demarche, we prefer not to summon the (Pakistani) high commission to the (external affairs) ministry. We just don’t feel comfortable with him.”
In 2014, New Delhi had cancelled foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan, after Basit met with All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leader Shabir Shah just days before the dialogue.
Basit’s Twitter timeline seems to show him travelling to various parts of India on invitations of different institutes and re-tweeting pictures of picturesque landscapes of Pakistan, like his primary task is to promote the country’s tourism industry, the daily pointed.