‘Indian High Commission Officials Were Assaulted & Tortured’: MEA
Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry has claimed that they both had been involved in a road accident.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), on Tuesday, 16 June, said that the two officials of the Indian High Commission to Pakistan, who were arrested in Islamabad on Monday, 15 June, and later released, were subjected to interrogation and physical assault resulting in grievous injuries, PTI reported.
The officials were kept in illegal custody for more than 10 hours, as per MEA.
Ministry also said that the Charge d’ Affaires of High Commission of Pakistan, Haider Shah, was summoned again on Tuesday and a strong protest was lodged on the issue of "abduction and torture" of two officials by Pakistan security agencies.
According to an NDTV report, Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry had claimed that they both had been involved in a road accident.
On Monday, too, MEA had summoned Pakistan's Charge d'affaires, Syed Hyder Shah, to India, after which the two officials were reportedly released.
According to ANI sources, on Monday, Shah was issued a demarche on the reported arrest of two officials which had made clear that there should be no interrogation or harassment of the Indian officials.
MEA had also told Shah that the responsibility for the safety and security of the concerned diplomatic personnel lay squarely with the Pakistani authorities, ANI reported citing sources.
The two junior staffers had gone out of the high commission in a vehicle for official duty at around 8:30 am (IST), but did not reach their destination, reports said.
This incident came two weeks after India expelled two Pakistan High Commission officials on charges of espionage.
Recent Intelligence Rows
On 31 May, Delhi Police Special Cell in a joint operation along with the Intelligence Bureau and Military Intelligence caught two officials of the Pakistan High Commission “during an espionage mission”.
“A trap was laid near Arya Samaj Chowk of Karol Bagh and two persons were apprehended and asked about their identities. They repeatedly made false statements. After much interrogation they finally revealed their real identities and were handed over to Pakistan High Commission as per diplomatic protocol after official work was completed,” officials said.
India had declared Abid Hussain and Muhammad Tahir as 'persona non grata' after they were found obtaining sensitive documents relating to movement of Indian Army troops from an Indian national, according to authorities here.
Following the incident, India had issued multiple notes verbales to Pakistan over 7-8 June raising serious concerns over the harassment and intimidation faced by Indian diplomats in Pakistan.
“We have been taking up regularly with the Pakistan MoFA the issue of the extraordinary rise in the levels of harassment and attempts at intimidation undertaken by the ISI after the events on 31 May,” sources in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad had said.
Pakistan had downgraded diplomatic ties by expelling the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad following India's decision to withdraw special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August last year.
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