The Pakistan high commission has written to the MEA complaining about their bank's policies thanks to demonetisation. The mission states that the bank in which their salaries are deposited - in dollars – has brought in new conditions.
According to The Times of India, some senior diplomats have refused to withdraw their salaries because the bank is demanding that officials fill up additional forms and exchange the dollars only at the bank. The forms also ask for details on their expenditures. This has now caused another diplomatic issue between the two counties.
The officials from the high commission are complaining that the exchange rate which the bank is offering is far lower than the rate outside.
Pakistan has reportedly stated that if India does not get this rescinded, they will also impose similar conditions on Indian diplomats in Pakistan. The commission has complained that they are being targeted by the bank as other missions don't have any such rules imposed on them. It has deemed it unfair.
The Economic Times reports that the bank in question has offered three options to the mission. The mission needs to submit letters of purpose and withdraw in US dollars; secondly, withdraw in Indian currency at the exchange rate offered by the bank but in amounts as stipulated by Reserve Bank of India following demonetisation; and thirdly, remit the money to Pakistan.
The recent ceasefire violations between the two countries have already caused severe strains in Indo-Pak relations. This added issue is likely to cause more tension.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's foreign minister Sartaj Aziz will be arriving in Amritsar on Sunday for the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan.