India, Pakistan Trade Allegations Over Harassment of Their High Commission Personnel

Nellie Chapman
March 12, 2018

Indian high commission officials and their families have also been targets of harassment in Islamabad, especially in the past one year.

A senior officer was harassed when his vehicle was stopped in Chanakyapuri neighbourhood of the Indian capital and was left with no other option but to return to the high commission. The demarche claims that children of Pakistan's deputy high commissioner were harassed on their way to school by Indian authorities, and another diplomat had his vehicle searched on his way home.

"Noting that the Pakistan high commission has brought to the MEA" s notice some incidents of alleged harassment over the last few days, sources said these will no doubt be investigated.

The report also said that the families of these officials made a decision to take their children out from the schools in Islamabad and leave the country. "We would like to continue the fine tradition of allowing diplomats to do their jobs", the person added.

In more trouble, over the last few months, several Indian High Commission staffers have been severely harassed and intimidated, the source said, adding that in one case an official's home was broken into and a laptop stolen.

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Sources said that in the intervening night of February 15 and 16, the residential complex in Islamabad, which is still under construction and is opposite the Indian High Commission premises, was raided by Pakistan agencies which expelled all service providers, and later disconnected power and water supply.

"It is becoming hard 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. Despite the foreign secretary's assurance, the power supply was not restored for over two weeks.

Indian Government sources also said Pakistani security agencies are resorting to "aggressive surveillance, violation of physical space and tailing of officers in close and risky proximity". "Obscene phone calls and messages are constantly received on phones", said a source to TOI. They said that all decisions about missions are taken on the basis of reciprocity.

The Indian response came hours after Pakistani media reported that Pakistan's diplomats stationed here were facing harassment on a daily basis. The Indian government also highlighted Pakistan's active support to terrorist groups based on its soil at global fora including the UN General Assembly.

"Even children going to school and women have been chased by Indian security personnel", the Pakistani source said.

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