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Wednesday Mar 14 2018

Harassment of Pakistani diplomats, families in India continues unabated

A senior Pakistani diplomat was forced to stop his car and was harassed by unknown individuals on a busy road in the Indian capital-Geo News

NEW DELHI: Two more incidents of harassment of officers and families of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi emerged on Wednesday, a day after the Foreign Office lodged a strong protest with a senior Indian diplomat stationed in Pakistan.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement on Tuesday, said the staff and their families have been facing harassment, intimidation and “outright violence” from Indian state agencies.

Diplomatic sources told Geo News that a senior Pakistani diplomat was forced to stop his car and was harassed by unknown individuals on a busy road in the Indian capital.

The incident happened when the diplomat was on his way to home after work.

In yet another incident, the vehicles of diplomats’ families were stopped at a road in a similar fashion and harassed.

On Tuesday, a car carrying school-going children of Pakistan’s counselor was followed by “unknown persons on cars and motorcycles”. Moreover, the vehicle was blocked and videos and photographs of the children were constantly made for 40 minutes.

Alongside, the drivers of the high commission were forcibly halted and their mobile phones aggressively switched off to prevent them from contacting anyone.

In another incident, the vehicle of another senior counselor was forcefully stopped by an unknown individual who then disembarked and took pictures of the counselor. The unknown individual did not let the senior counselor's vehicle pass obstructing his vehicle, turning a ten-minute journey home into a 90-minute ordeal.

The incidents are part of a continuing trend that started last week on Wednesday when a senior diplomat’s vehicle was stopped and damaged. The following day the Deputy High Commissioners' vehicle was chased by unknown individuals in a car and on a motorbike, who dragged the driver out of the car and hurled abuses at him.

In another earlier incident, a member of the Pakistan High Commission was chased and his car was damaged by unknown individuals. Pakistan's High Commissioner raised the issue with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and met with the MEA joint secretary about the incidents.

Following the meeting, instead of the incidents stopping, two counselors of the Pakistani mission were harassed in a similar manner. Pakistan High Commission again raised the issue with the MEA.

After the latest incidents, the Pakistani High Commission has once again taken up the matter with the Indian government.

Tensions between the two countries flared up after India accused Pakistan of involvement in attacks on its military posts in a bordering town — an accusation Pakistan strongly denies.

The foreign office on Tuesday also summoned Indian deputy high commissioner and registered strong protest over the incidents.

South Asia DG Dr Faisal handed over a protest letter to the diplomat and said protection of diplomatic staff is the responsibility of India under the Vienna Convention, which it has failed to.

Indian agencies were busy harassing children, the statement added.


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