Defence minister condemns harassment of Pakistani diplomats in India

Defence minister condemns harassment of Pakistani diplomats in India

The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has written four note verbale to the Ministry of External Affairs, alleging specific incidents of harassment of diplomats, their family members and Indian workers in the High Commission.

Officials of the Pakistani High Commission claimed that the "harassment" was carried out by Indian security and intelligence agencies.

In a new development to the serious diplomatic spat between India and Pakistan over allegations of harassment and intimidation, the Pakistan High Commission has released a video on Tuesday, showing how the diplomat's auto was blocked in New Delhi. They were harassed, intimidated and their vehicle was blocked, Pakistan said. This comes days after several complaints of harassment of Indian diplomats in Islamabad. The children on their way to a British school when they were allegedly harassed and blocked by Indian officials.

"For psychological intimidation, videos and photographs of the children were constantly made for 40 minutes, leaving the children extremely traumatised". The drivers of the high commission were forcibly stopped and their mobile phones forcibly switched off to prevent them from contacting anyone, he alleged.

Meanwhile, The Indian Express has learnt that the application of Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, for membership of the Islamabad Club has been stalled by the Pakistan government since it wants membership of Delhi Gymkhana and Delhi Golf Club for its diplomats in New Delhi.

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Sources in New Delhi said India has repeatedly requested Pakistan to mutually ensure that High Commissions are allowed to do their job in an atmosphere free of harassment and intimidation, that staff be allowed to work and that construction projects get completed on time. 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.

On March 9, Pakistan alleged that its naval adviser's vehicle was "aggressively chased", while its political counselor was "forcibly evicted from a cab" by unidentified men, who then threatened him.

Earlier on Saturday, Islamabad had accused India of harassing its diplomats and their families in the country and threatened to pull out the families if the intimidation did not stop.

Relations between Pakistan and India have historically been tense, and the tensions aggravated under the BJP government.

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