Press Trust of india

Pakistan calls back envoy from India for ‘consultations’

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Islamabad, Feb 18 :  In a tit-for-tat action, Pakistan Monday called back its High Commissioner from India for “consultations” amid heightened bilateral tensions after the Pulwama suicide attack, days after New Delhi asked its envoy in Islamabad to return.

Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said envoy Sohail Mahmood left New Delhi on Monday morning.

“We have called back our High Commissioner in India for consultations. He left New Delhi this morning,” he said on Twitter.

It was not immediately clear as to how many days he will stay in Pakistan.

Mahmood was on Friday summoned in New Delhi by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale who lodged strong protest over the killing of 49 CRPF soldiers in Pulwama.

Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria has already been called to New Delhi for consultations in the wake of the attack.

India has blamed Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group for the Pulwama attack on Thursday.

JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a major diplomatic offensive against Islamabad after the attack, India has highlighted Pakistan’s role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

India has demanded that Pakistan should take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region, free of terror.

India on Friday announced the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation status for Pakistan and hiked the customs duty by 200 per cent on goods originating from Pakistan with immediate effect on Saturday.

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