Even as Indo-Pak ties seem to be going uphill, a Pakistani diplomat was allegedly manhandled by an angry crowd after a road acident here.
Later, the Pakistan High Commission lodged a strong protest with the Ministry of External Affairs. However, Indian authorities deny that the Pakistani diplomat was assaulted.
The Pakistan High Commission’s first secretary (trade), Zargham Raza was en route to his home in the south Delhi colony of Vasant Kunj, when his car was stopped by a couple on a two-wheeler near the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University at about 6.30 pm.
As per Indian authorities, the woman riding pillion had probably fallen down, after the Pakistani diplomat’s car grazed their vehicle and they tried to confront the car driver.
The Pakistan High Commission spokesperson Manzoor Ali Memon said, “there was no road accident”. He claimed that the two-wheeler overtook the car with the diplomatic number plates and started to abuse the driver on the Aruna Asif Ali road.
“To protect the driver who was being assaulted, the diplomat also came out and he too was manhandled by the crowd,” Memon said.
The Pakistan High Commission claimed in an official release that the ‘most unfortunate and regrettable’ incident resulted in “injuries to the diplomat and the official of the Mission”.
“The High Commission has lodged strong protest over the assault with the Ministry of External Affairs urging immediate and thorough inquiry into the incident,” it added.
Further, the Pakistan High Commission added that the Indian Government has been requested to “ensure safety and security of personnel, premises and vehicles of Pakistan High Commission in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations and international diplomatic practice.”
However, Indian authorities claim that there was ‘no injury or damage’, contradicting the Pakistani claim that the diplomat was assaulted.
“There could have been some verbal exchanges… but the diplomat stayed inside the car, enraging the crowd who were sympathising with the woman who fell down,” the authorities said.
A case has been registered by the police based on the complaint of the Pakistani diplomat and the bike rider has been arrested.
So far, no case has been filed by the couple who were allegedly hit.
This incident comes just as a new government is set to take over in Islamabad led by Nawaz Sharif, towards whom the Indian Government has made several overtures for improved ties.
The Indian Government was also planning to send a ministerial representative to Islamabad to attend the June 6 swearing-in ceremony of Sharif and his cabinet there.