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India Asks Its Diplomats In Pakistan To Withdraw Kids From Local Schools

This development amounts to "downgrade" of Pakistan as a "non-school-going station".

25/07/2016 6:53 PM IST | Updated 25/07/2016 7:13 PM IST
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More than 60 school children of Indian diplomatic staff in Pakistan may not resume their classes from next quarter.

As tension simmers between India and Pakistan over recent developments in Kashmir, India has asked its diplomats and other officials to withdraw their kids from local schools in Islamabad.

The diplomats have been asked to make arrangements for education of their wards outside Pakistan from this academic session, virtually downgrading it as a "non-school-going station".

"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," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

"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."

According to officials, there are about 60 school-going children of Indian officials, who are currently posted in Indian mission in Islamabad.

This development amounts to "downgrade" of Pakistan as a "non-school-going station", an official said.

However, according to reports, India had been considering the move since 2014. Ever since Taliban gunmen broke into a school in Peshawar and opened fire, killing 132 students and nine staff, the diplomats have been very careful.

The Indian government had then bought bullet-proof buses that are now used by diplomatic staff to travel to their workplace.

Their children are ferried to schools in these special vehicles.

India and Pakistan are witnessing growing bitterness after Pakistan and its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made provocative statements on the Kashmir situation in the wake of Burhan Wani's killing on July 8. Wani was a wanted terrorist Commander of the banned terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen.

Not only did Sharif praise Wani but he also remarked that "Kashmir will one day become Pakistan", a comment which evoked a sharp reaction from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who said his dream of the state becoming a part of his country "will not be realised even at the end of eternity".

Last week, India had asked Pakistan to ensure full safety and security of Indian officials and their families there in view of the threats of marches and protests at the High Commission after the observance of 'Kashmir s Accession to Pakistan Day" and "Black Day" last week.

With inputs from PTI

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