Indian Diplomats Believe Basit’s Statements are Double-Faced

Former Indian diplomats accuse Islamabad and Pak High Commissioner of playing good cop, bad cap.

2 min read
Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit in a public interaction. (File Photo: PTI)

Was Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit speaking at variance with the official line on relations with India when he said that the bilateral “peace process is suspended”, or was it said deliberately with the permission of Islamabad?

According to former envoys, Basit’s statements are another example of Pakistan’s “double-dealing”, with one suggesting that Islamabad should “recall him for spoiling bilateral relations.”

Both Prabhu Dayal, who served in the Indian consulate in Karachi and recently released a book “Karachi Halwa” and Rajiv Dogra, India’s former consul general in Karachi, say that the current impasse in relations and Basit’s statements show that ties with Pakistan are not moving forward.

Meanwhile, G Parthasarathy, India’s former high commissioner to Pakistan, was more direct.

There are two categories of Pakistani diplomats, one reporting to the foreign office, and the other beholden to the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence). I regard Basit as belonging to the second category.
G Parthasarathy, Former Indian High Commissioner

Pak High Commission and MoFA Playing Good Cop, Bad Cop

On Thursday Basit, speaking at an event said that the peace process between India and Pakistan were “suspended” and that the National Investigation Agency team from India could not go to Pakistan to probe the Pathankot attack.

The Pakistan ambassador says whatever the foreign ministry tells him to. He will not say anything on his own; he represents the government of Pakistan and he cannot be saying anything at variance with their position.
Prabhu Dayal, Former Indian High Commissioner

Dayal added that Pakistan’s policy has “always been double-faced, and this is another example of it”. Dogra termed Basit’s statement that the peace process has been suspended as “perhaps the most undiplomatic statement that I have ever heard a diplomat make”.

You can say that negotiations are suspended, the talks are suspended but to say that the peace process is suspended means that you are declaring war. So, should such a high commissioner be taken seriously?
Rajiv Dogra, Former Indian High Commissioner

He added that whether the Pakistan High Commissioner and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) were playing good cop, bad cop.

To Basit saying that NIA would not be allowed, the Dogra said, “The high commissioner is so authoritatively saying there is no reciprocity, it can only mean that from the Pakistan side there was no confirmation of the conditions put in our letter (India’s letter on allowing the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team).”

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