New Delhi: With the escalating tension between India and Pakistan over the latter’s interference in the recent developments in Kashmir, India has asked its diplomats and other officials to withdraw their kids from local schools in Islamabad.
Media reports quoted officials saying that the officials at the Indian high commission could either return or send their children enrolled at Islamabad schools back to their homeland.
Around 60 schoolchildren of Indian diplomatic staff will not resume their classes from next quarter in Pakistan — 50 of them enrolled in the American School of Islamabad and around 10 in the Roots International School.
“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,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
If reports are to be believed, the decision had been taken in 2015 so that diplomatic staff had sufficient time to make alternative arrangements; and was being considered ever since Taliban gunmen broke into a school in Peshawar in 2014 and opened fire, killing 132 students and nine staff.
Another reason seen by the Daily Times, was the restriction imposed on the free movement of Indian students in Islamabad. Whenever schools planned trips outside Islamabad, the Indian students had to seek approval from the Pakistani foreign office, the report stated.
Over the past few months, the relations between India and Pakistan have worsened, with violence in Kashmir over the killing of 22-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani being the latest flashpoint.