Diplomatic War Between Indo-Pak Over Dollars Shortage

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New Delhi: In this season of demonetisation, Pakistan high commission here is trying to stave off a cash crunch of an entirely different kind. The mission has written to MEA to protest against the policies of the bank where Pakistan officials’ salaries are deposited.

According to Pakistan, the bank has imposed additional conditions for withdrawal of the salaries which Pakistan mission officials receive in dollars. Several senior diplomats have refused to withdraw their salaries protesting against the new conditions.

These conditions, which came into effect only last week, make it mandatory for Pakistan officials to fill up additional forms specifying their expenditures and also that they exchange their dollars with the same bank. The officials are upset because the exchange rate is much lower then that offered by the bank.

Pakistan has now threatened to do the same with Indian diplomats and officials in Islamabad if the MEA doesn’t get the bank to remove the new conditions immediately.

Pakistan has told MEA that the bank in question had chosen to target its mission specifically and not imposed similar conditions on other missions. This, according to Pakistan, is unfair as it has even fully supported the government’s demonetisation move.

Senior Indian officials, however, denied that there was any specific move against the Pakistani mission.

The issue is likely to flare up at a time when the two countries are struggling to control the fallout of continuing ceasefire violations at the LoC. Pakistan’s de facto foreign minister Sartaj Aziz will be in Amritsar+ on Sunday for the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan.

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