Pak summons Indian envoy over ‘bullying of diplomats, families’
ISLAMABAD, Mar 14: Pakistan on Tuesday levelled fresh allegations against Indian secret agencies for what it calls “harassing and bullying” officers, staff and their families, including children of its diplomatic mission in New Delhi.
This prompted the Foreign Office to summon Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh to lodge a strong protest at the “maltreatment being meted out to the officials and families of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi”.
Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal, who is also the Director-General, South Asia and Saarc at the ministry, emphasised that under the Vienna convention, safety and security of the Pakistani diplomats and their families “is the responsibility of the Indian government”.
“The total apathy and failure of the Indian government to put a halt to these despicable incidents, sparing not even young children, indicates both a lack of capacity to protect foreign diplomats posted in India or a more reprehensible, complicit unwillingness to do so,” he told the Indian deputy high commissioner.
The Foreign Office statement said 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”.
“These have escalated exponentially in the last few days. This deliberate bullying is not confined to a single isolated event, but continues unabated in a series of incidents, especially targeting the children of our officers and staff,” it regretted.
Giving details, the Foreign Office said on March 07 and March 08, children of the officers of the mission were harassed while returning from school. Their cars were stopped by unknown persons who threatened the children and filmed them.
“The protest lodged by our high commissioner with the Indian foreign secretary, instead of ameliorating the situation, was followed by further harassment of the officers of the high commission, stoppage of provision of gas to the high commission residential complex and threatening of contractors/staff working in the high commission,” the statement further said.
“On March 09, the car of the naval adviser was aggressively chased. On the same day, counselor political was forcibly evicted from a cab and harassed by unknown persons, who used abusive language, threatened him and filmed the whole incident with impunity.”
On March 12, technicians working at the Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi “were threatened and stopped from working. The same evening our First Secretary was aggressively followed when he left work for his residence.”
“On Tuesday (Mar 13), the car carrying the schoolgoing children of our counselor, who were returning from school, was followed by unknown persons on cars and motorcycles harassed, intimidated and their vehicle was blocked,” the Foreign Office said.
“For psychological intimidation, videos and photographs of the children were constantly made for 40 minutes, leaving the children extremely traumatized. They were followed up to their residence.”
Additionally, the drivers of the High Commission were “forcibly halted and their mobile phones aggressively switched off to prevent them from contacting anyone”.
“All these incidents continue unabated despite repeated official protests lodged with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs at the highest level, providing specific details of the culprits’ vehicles. Our High Commission has also shared photographs identifying the individuals, who forcibly halted and took pictures of the officer, today (Tuesday),” the spokesperson said.