India, Pakistan trade allegations over harassment of their High Commission personnel

Indian High Commission in Islamabad Pakistan. Credit Facebook

Indian High Commission in Islamabad Pakistan. Credit Facebook

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 Pakistani agency reportedly disconnected power and water supply. India makes all efforts to provide a safe, secure and hospitable environment for diplomats to work in. Unfortunately, this can not be said of Islamabad.

High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria had intimated Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua about "multiple acts of hooliganism" against Indian staff and property.

Government sources said "harassment is the new normal for Indian High Commission personnel in Islamabad" for the past more than one year, with the Indian High Commissioner lodging a strong protest almost a month ago on February 16 with Islamabad "against multiple acts of hooliganism against Indian properties and personnel".

Over the last few months, several Indian High Commission staffers have been severely harassed and intimidated.

Speaking to The Indian Express, T C A Raghavan, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, said, "The tradition always has been that however bad the political relations between India and Pakistan, the relations between the diplomatic missions and the foreign offices have been good".

Harassment is the new normal for Indian High Commission personnel in Islamabad. "In one of the cases, one official's home was broken into and a laptop was stolen", they added.

Despite the protest by the Indian High Commissioner, the power supply wasn't restored for more than 2 weeks and his own vehicle was intercepted in the middle of the road preventing him from attending an event.

As a result, most families of Indian officials have returned to India, withdrawing their children from schools.

"In the early 90s, the wife of our high commissioner in Islamabad, J N Dixit was assaulted when he was attending an official event there".

The fight between the diplomats serving in both the countries came merely days after Pakistan agreed to the Indian proposal to exchange elderly, women and mentally unstable prisoners. However, the power supply was reportedly not restored for over two weeks.

In its formal communication to Islamabad, Pakistan high commission added that the Delhi Gymkhana and Golf Club, even if combined together, could not offer the facilities which Indian diplomats get at the Islamabad Club.

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