India Abroad

India, Pakistan Exchange Allegations Over Mistreatment Of Diplomats

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
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| March 12 , 2018 , 12:40 IST

The sparring between India and Pakistan has extended to beyond the Line of Control (LoC) and the cricket field, as now the two neighbouring nations are exchanging allegations of mistreatment of their respective diplomats in each other's nations.

Pakistan issued a demarche to India, media reported on Monday, in which Pakistan alleges that it was becoming difficult for its diplomats to function in Delhi due to harassment and intimidation. 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 car searched on his way home.

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According to sources, the hostility towards the Pakistan diplomats was triggered by an ISI raid on a residential complex under construction for Indian diplomats in Islamabad. During the raid, which took place last month, a group of 7-8 men disconnected the electricity and water supply to the property which is owned by India. To protest against such "multiple acts of hooliganism" on Indian staff and property, the Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria met with the Pakistan foreign secretary on February 16.

Despite the protest by the Indian High Commissioner, the power supply wasn't restored for more than 2 weeks and his own car was intercepted in the middle of the road preventing him from attending an event. Indian diplomats and their family have faced regular harassment in Pakistan recently with unauthorised entry into their premises, random interception of their cars and even robbery.

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

"Aggressive surveillance, violation of physical space and tailing of officers in close and dangerous proximity is a perennial issue. Agency personnel keep shooting videos of the officers thrusting phones on their faces. Obscene phone calls and messages are constantly received on phones," said a source to TOI.