Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Pakistan, India trade barbs over 'harassment of diplomats'

Pakistan, India trade barbs over 'harassment of diplomats'

The video, shot by the diplomat, was aired on several Pakistani television news channels.

As per press release issued by the department, the officers, staff and more regrettably the families and children of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi continue to face intense harassment, intimidation and outright violence from the Indian state agencies.

The Pakistanis claimed the incident took place while the diplomat was returning to his home in Vasant Vihar. "They were harassed, intimidated and their vehicle was blocked", the Foreign Office said.

In the latest of such incidents which have continued unabated, on Tuesday (today) a vehicle carrying school-going children of the counsellor was followed by unknown persons on cars and motorcycles.

Pakistani foreign office summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh to the foreign office in Islamabad on Tuesday night and lodged a protest over what it called the maltreatment being meted out to the officials and families of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

According to sources, the Indian High Commissioner's auto was recently stopped by Pakistani agencies in the middle of a busy road to prevent him from attending a lunch hosted by the Bohra community in Karachi, where he had gone to attend a literature festival. The Pakistan High Commission has also alleged that this was done by the Indian security and intelligence agencies.

In the note verbale, Pakistan also warned that such incidents will not only endanger the lives of the children of Pakistani diplomats but also cause a major road accident.

"When a protest was lodged following this incident, instead of ameliorating the situation, it was followed by further harassment and stoppage of the provision of gas to the residential complex and further threatening of staff working at the High Commission", reads the statement. "In view of such an atmosphere of intimidation, most families have returned to India and children have been withdrawn from schools", the source said.

Pakistan's foreign office has accused India of harassing and intimidating its diplomats and their families posted in New Delhi, in the latest escalation of tensions between the South Asian neighbours.

The Pakistan government has also insisted that "the membership fee and monthly charges of both clubs combined should be equal to the Islamabad Club".

Indian High Commissioner Ajit Bisaria on February 16 complained to Pakistan Foreign Secretary against multiple incidents of "hooliganism" against Indian personnel and their properties.

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