ISLAMABAD--Pakistan was on Monday dismissive of India's move to withdraw children of diplomats and High Commission officials from schools in the country, describing it as an "informal, internal, administrative" arrangement. Pakistan Foreign Office also said it was informed of the decision two months back and that "no other considerations were communicated" to it.
Amidst growing strain in Indo-Pak ties, India has advised its diplomats and officials posted in its High Commission here to make arrangements for education of their wards outside Pakistan from this academic session, virtually downgrading it as a "non-school-going station".
"This is an informal, internal, administrative arrangement we were informed of two months back. No other considerations were communicated to us," Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said.
The announcement came after a government's review of staffing and related policies for their diplomatic missions as also prevailing circumstances at the station.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, "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.
"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 50 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.
The development comes as 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.