New Delhi: Pakistani High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood was summoned by Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale late on Wednesday night. The development came in connection with the telephonic conversation which was initiated by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from the All Parties Hurriyat Conference in the Kashmir Valley.

Foreign Secretary Gokhale underscored that “Pakistan has confirmed yet again that it officially abets and encourages individuals associated with terrorism and anti-India activities” and this has “exposed to the entire international community Pakistan’s duplicity in professing their desire for normal relations with India on the one hand, while openly inciting anti-India activities on the other.”

The release said, “India has categorically informed Pakistan to desist forthwith from such actions and cautioned that persistence of such behaviour by Pakistan will have implications.”

India lodged a strong protest and made it clear to the Pakistani High Commissioner that the “entire State of Jammu and Kashmir has been, is and shall remain an integral part of India, and that Pakistan has no locus standi in any matters related to the State of Jammu and Kashmir”, the release said.

In a release the Ministry of External Affairs said, Foreign Secretary conveyed the “Government of India’s condemnation in the strongest terms of this latest brazen attempt by Pakistan to subvert India’s unity and to violate our sovereignty and territorial integrity, by none other than the Pakistan Foreign Minister.”

The Foreign Secretary further conveyed that “this deplorable act has violated all norms for the conduct of international relations even by Pakistan’s own standards.” and Pakistan Foreign Minister’s actions are “tantamount to direct interference in the internal affairs of its neighbour.”

The last time India summoned Pakistan HC was in 2016 after the Uri attack. This is the 5th time a Pakistani High Commissioner has been summoned under the Modi government. The first time a Pakistani high commissioner was summoned under the present government was on December 29, 2014, after Zakir Ur Rehman Lakhvi who was involved in 26/11 was released.

(Written by Siddhant Sibal)