Pakistan once again surrounded India’s ministry of external affairs on Friday alleging Indian officials of intimidating the children of a senior diplomat while they were on their way to school. In a note verbale, the Pakistan high commission alleged the children were harassed and blocked by Indian authorities while they were on their way to the British School.
While India did not respond to the official communication from the Pakistan mission, government sources here said they had already offered to get such charges made by Pakistan diplomats investigated. However, a source here said Indian diplomats in Islamabad were being faithfully tailed and intimidated.
“It’s a normal affair for an Indian diplomat to get blocked in the middle of the road,” said a source here.
In the new note verbale Pakistan issued Tuesday, it said the counsellor’s car with his children on board was hit from behind by another car occupied by Indian authorities. Pakistan also warned that such aggressive blocking of cars on roads will not just endanger the lives of Pakistan diplomats but also cause a major road accident. Another diplomat is said to have had his car tailed while on his way home Thursday evening. Pakistan also summoned Indian deputy high commissioner J P Singh to register a protest. Singh reiterated India’s concerns over treatment meted out to Indian diplomats in Islamabad.
In a new low for ties, India-Pakistan relations are presently caught in a vicious cycle of reprisals which was initiated because of, as Indian authorities say, a raid on a residential complex for Indian diplomats by ISI in Islamabad.
The problem was discussed at length in a meeting between Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale. While Mahmood said that Pakistan diplomats and other staff had faced intimidation on 18 occasions between March 7 and March 9, Gokhale made the point that Indian diplomats were being subjected to far worse treatment in Islamabad. Pakistan wants India to sign a protocol which, it says, will permit both sides to carry out construction work smoothly. For India, it is essential its diplomats in Islamabad are not discriminated against by Pakistan by denying them membership of the Islamabad Club.