Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Tuesday summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad Gopal Bagley to lodge its protest over the alleged manhandling of a Pakistani diplomat here on Monday following a road accident and also issued a note verbale in this regard.
“The Indian Deputy High Commissioner was informed that such incidents are uncalled for, unnecessary and do not augur well for the overall bilateral relations, especially at a time when the leadership of the two countries is desirous of improving and normalising relations,” said Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release.
Earlier, in a bid to diffuse the tension, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai called up his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani. While the Pakistan’s Foreign Office said Mathai expressed regrets, Indian sources said he told them about the action taken in the case. He also assured them that all security concerns would be addressed.
“The call was made in the context of the need to ensure high level contact at a time when the Pakistani High Commissioner to India was in Islamabad and the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad was in Delhi for consultations,” said official sources here.
The Pakistan Foreign Ministry took note of the Indian Government’s action, but urged it to ensure that such incidents do not happen again and reminded the government of its obligations to protect the diplomatic personnel, premises and vehicles of the Pakistani High Commission.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin on Tuesday gave a detailed sequence of events of the “minor” road accident involving a car carrying diplomat Zargham Raza and driven by embassy staff Haider Zaman.
The accident took place near the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus at Ber Sarai. In the impact, the motorcyclist and the woman pillion rider fell on the road and suffered injuries. “Subsequently, the car driver and motorcyclist had an altercation and reportedly a scuffle ensued, wherein the Pakistan High Commission driver and the diplomat suffered minor injuries,” the MEA spekesperson said.
Thereafter, police reached the spot and “escorted the diplomat to safety from the crowd of onlookers who had gathered at the site of incident”.