India takes strong note of diplomat’s harassment in Pakistan
India has taken up a fresh instance of harassment of one of its diplomats at the high commission in Islamabad and called on Pakistani authorities to ensure that such incidents do not recur.
The Indian high commission sent two notes verbale or formal communications to Pakistan’s foreign ministry on December 21 and 27 that said power supply was deliberately cut at the home of the second secretary on two occasions. In the latest instance, power was cut for four hours on December 25, the second note verbale said. “It was noted that there was no electrical fault at the residence... and power supply was cut off only at his residence,” the second note said.
“The esteemed ministry is requested to take note of the incident and direct the relevant authorities to ensure that such incidents do not recur,” it added.
People familiar with the developments said this was the latest in a string of instances of Indian diplomats in Pakistan being harassed or prevented from carrying out their duties.
On December 10, unidentified people tried to enter the home of an Indian diplomat in Islamabad, while a team from the Indian mission was harassed in Peshawar on December 21.
In November, India lodged a formal protest when consular officials of the high commission were harassed and denied access to Indian pilgrims visiting Nankana Sahib Gurdwara and Sacha Sauda Gurdwara despite having been granted prior travel permission. The officials were forced to return to Islamabad without carrying out their consular duties.
This was the third consecutive instance of Pakistan preventing Indian officials from meeting visiting Indian pilgrims on the pretext of security, the external affairs ministry said in a statement at the time.
The people cited above said the harassment of Indian officials in Islamabad had “reached unacceptable levels” in February-March and that Pakistani authorities had backed off when India also “engaged in playing the game”. Subsequently, the two sides agreed to resolve all issues related to the treatment of diplomats in line with a 1992 code of conduct.
Despite this agreement, the harassment of Indian officials had continued, the people said. In this regards, they pointed out work on the residences for the Indian high commission staff in Islamabad had been stalled for 10 years. “We moved the staff into residences with no gas supply and with furniture held up at the border and access to telecom or IT facilities,” one of the people cited above said.