NEW DELHI: New Delhi on Sunday reacted strongly to reports that Pakistani diplomats and their families were being harassed and threatened in India, and that Islamabad would pull out the families if the intimidation did not stop.
According to a report in the Dawn on Saturday quoting diplomatic sources, a demarche was made to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.
“It is becoming difficult for the Pakistani diplomats posted in India to keep their families with them due to an increase in harassment incidents,” the source said. According to the report, the children of Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner were stopped and harassed on their way to school over the past three days, while a senior diplomat was harassed while moving in Delhi.
“Pakistani diplomatic vehicles were being stopped on different pretexts and searched. Members of diplomatic staff are also abused in public and a number of accidents of vehicles have happened. Indian employees of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, he said, were also being stopped from coming to work,” it said.
New Delhi reacted strongly to the charge, saying that while the Pakistani charges would no doubt be investigated, “India makes all efforts to provide a safe, secure and hospitable environment for diplomats to work in. Unfortunately, this cannot be said of Islamabad.”
According to senior sources in New Delhi, the Indian High Commission in Pakistan has been facing tremendous harassment for long, particularly over the past year.“However, Indian diplomats chose to tackle this matter with quiet and persistent diplomacy rather than by airing issues in the media.”
“ON February 16, the High Commissioner of India met Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary to lodge a protest against multiple acts of hooliganism against Indian properties and personnel. India’s residential complex in Islamabad was raided by Pakistan agencies, who expelled all Pakistani service providers and disconnected power and water supply. Despite the Foreign Secretary’s assurance, the power supply was not restored for over two weeks. The Pakistan High Commission faces no such disruptions,” said one source.
“Over the last few months, High Commission staff have been harassed and intimidated. An official’s home was broken into, laptop stolen. The High Commissioner’s car was stopped in a busy road to prevent him from attending an event.”
“Obscene phone calls and messages are constantly received on phones. Most families have returned to India and children have been withdrawn from schools,” he said.“This is nothing new,” a senior diplomat told The New Indian Express.
“In the early 90s, the wife of our high commissioner in Islamabad, J N Dixit was assaulted when he was attending an official event there. A major diplomatic row was averted after Pakistani officials handed over the culprit to Dixit’s security detail to be taught a ‘serious lesson’. In return, Dixit agreed not to turn it into a diplomatic issue.” he said.
Issues Delhi didn’t blow up
India’s residential complex in Islamabad raided by Pakistani agencies who expelled all Pakistani service providers and disconnected power and water supply. Power supply was not restored for over two weeks
Indian High Commission official’s home broken into, laptop stolen, High Commissioner’s car stopped by Pak agencies to prevent him from attending an event.