Diplomats' expulsion not to hit peace process: Pak | india | Hindustan Times
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Diplomats' expulsion not to hit peace process: Pak

india Updated: Aug 07, 2006 19:27 IST
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Pakistan said on Monday its expulsion of a senior Indian diplomat and the tit-for-tat action by New Delhi should not affect the peace process.

"In our view the expulsions should make no difference to the peace process," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said.

She was asked about India's comment that the expulsion of Deepak Kaul would "undermine bilateral relations".

Kaul, who returned home on Monday, was expelled after being handcuffed and detained on Saturday. India retaliated by declaring Syed Muhammad Rafique Ahmed, Counsellor (political) at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, persona non grata and asked him to leave the country.

To another question whether the expulsion would vitiate the atmosphere, Aslam said "there are many things that spoil the atmosphere, when baseless allegations are made. Yes it vitiates climate, but we have to move beyond that".

Asked whether the expulsion would add "strains" to bilateral ties, she said "you are aware of the circumstances which led to the expulsion. It also needs to be kept in mind that diplomats also have certain responsibilities".

When pointed out the strong reactions from India, Aslam said "I have not seen any Indian statement saying that the peace process will not continue".