Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Pakistan has denied visa to senior diplomat Jayant Khobragade who was set to be appointed as acting head of Indian High Commission in Islamabad, people familiar with the development said on Sunday.

It is learnt that Pakistan did not approve his visa on the grounds that he is too senior for the post.

The people said Pakistan was conveyed by India in June about its move to send Khobragade as India's deputy high commissioner to that country.

There was no official comment on the issue either by Pakistan or India.

Following India's decision to withdraw special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August last year, Pakistan had downgraded diplomatic ties by expelling the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad.

Pakistan also decided not to send the new envoy it had named to head its mission in New Delhi following India's decision on Jammu and Kashmir.

Since then, both the Indian and Pakistani high commissions in Islamabad and New Delhi respectively are being headed by the deputy chiefs of mission of the two countries.

On August 5 last year, India announced its decision to withdraw special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two Union territories.

Since then Pakistan has been unsuccessfully trying to rally international support against India on the issue. The relations between India and Pakistan nosedived following the decision.

In June, India asked Pakistan to reduce the staff in its high commission here by half and announced a reciprocal reduction in Indian strength in Islamabad.

The decision came after Indian authorities allegedly found involvement of certain officials of Pakistan High Commission in "acts of espionage".


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