India issues another Note Verbale to Pak
…asks it to ensure safety of staff at Islamabad mission
New Delhi, Mar 22 : In yet another diplomatic note, India today asked Pakistan to ensure safety and security of its officials working at the Indian mission in Islamabad, saying they continue to face “harassment” and “intimidation”, official sources said.
In its 16th ‘Note Verbale’ to the Pakistan Foreign Ministry, the Indian High Commission specifically mentioned three incidents of harassment of senior officials, they said.
India has conveyed to Islamabad that safety and security of the Indian High Commission, its officers, staff members and their families is the responsibility of the Pakistan government, the sources said.
On the incidents mentioned in the ‘Note Verbale’, they said the vehicle of the Deputy High Commissioner, while going to an embassy within the diplomatic enclave for a meeting, was aggressively followed by two people in a car.
They said the Naval Attache of the Mission was also “aggressively followed” by a person on a motorbike while going to Serena Hotel for a meeting.
The Second Secretary (political) of the mission was also aggressively followed and harassed by a person at the Street-1 Cafe within the diplomatic enclave. He had gone there for an official meeting with a diplomat, they said.
The sources said the website of the High Commission of India continues to be intermittently blocked, adding it is causing inconvenience and has affected normal functioning of the mission.
“Such incidents of harassment, intimidation and threats to physical security of diplomats and officials are in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, and a threat to the security and safety of the personnel of the High Commission of India,” said a source.
The sources said India has asked the Pakistan Foreign Ministry to immediately investigate all the incidents and direct the relevant authorities to ensure that such incidents do not recur.
Pakistan has also been accusing India of harassing its diplomats and releasing videos of alleged intimidation of its officials. However, the veracity of these videos could not be ascertained.
Islamabad has also called its High Commissioner to India back home for consultations on the issue.
Pak envoy to India to return ahead of Pak national day
Islamabad/New Delhi, Mar 22 (PTI) A week after he was called back for consultations amid raging row between India and Pakistan over harassment of diplomats, Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood will return from Islamabad tonight, Pakistani government sources said today.
According to sources, Mahmood will host a series of events tomorrow to mark the ‘Pakistan National Day’ at the country’s mission in New Delhi, including a dinner reception.
In the morning, the Pakistani envoy will also hoist the flag and deliver a speech, they said.
Mahmood was called back to Islamabad for consultations after alleged incidents of “harassment” of its diplomatic staff in New Delhi with Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Faisal claiming that the Indian government failed to take notice of the increasing incidents of intimidation of Pakistani diplomats, their families and staffers by its intelligence agencies.
India and Pakistan have accused each other of harassing diplomats in Islamabad and New Delhi respectively.