India to investigate Pakistan’s allegation over harassment of its diplomats in Delhi

Media reports say diplomats in Delhi are facing ‘aggressive surveillance’ daily

March 12, 2018 12:52 am | Updated 06:01 pm IST - NEW DELHI

India will investigate Pakistan’s allegation of harassment of its diplomats here, sources said on Sunday.

The Indian response came hours after Pakistani media reported that Pakistan’s diplomats stationed here were facing harassment on a daily basis.

“The Pakistan High Commission has brought to the MEA’s [Ministry of External Affairs] notice some incidents of alleged harassment over the past few days. These will no doubt be investigated. India makes all efforts to provide a safe, secure and hospitable environment for diplomats to work in,” a source in the Ministry said.

Hours before, a Pakistani source told The Hindu that almost all the top diplomats, barring the newly appointed High Commissioner of Pakistan, had faced aggressive surveillance from Indian agencies in the recent weeks.

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

“On one occasion, one of the drivers was pulled out of his car and threatened with abusive language.”

Pakistani media reports said that Islamabad had warned that it might withdraw its staffers from the High Commission following intense surveillance by Indian agencies.

Diplomatic note

Pakistan has reportedly issued a diplomatic note in protest against the alleged harassment.

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.

An Indian source describing the condition that Indian diplomats in Pakistan are facing, said, “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. In view of such an atmosphere of intimidation, most families have returned to India and children have been withdrawn from schools.”

The Indian High Commission in Pakistan has been made a ‘non-family’ posting.

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