India, Pakistan accuse each other of harassing diplomatic staff

India Pakistan allege harassment of diplomats

Pakistan has issued a démarche to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, Dawn reported on Saturday.

On the other hand, government sources told The Indian Express that Indian officials in Islamabad are being subjected to increased hostility, harassment and intimidation. "It is becoming hard for the Pakistani diplomats posted in India to keep their families with them due to increase in harassment incidents", said the newspaper quoting a source.

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

Despite the protest by the Indian High Commissioner, the power supply wasn't restored for more than 2 weeks and his own vehicle was intercepted in the middle of the road preventing him from attending an event.

The matter was brought to the notice of Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on February 16 by Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria who protested "multiple acts of hooliganism". "Obscene phone calls and messages are constantly received on phones", sources said, adding that the issue has become "out of the ordinary" in recent months.

Sources said the Pakistani diplomats, their children and families were finding it hard to stay in New Delhi due to the intimidating behaviour of the Indian authorities.

India, Pakistan accuse each other of harassing diplomatic staff

Sources added that even the High Commissioner's auto was intercepted in the middle of the read and was prevented from attending an official event.

In July 2016, the Indian High Commission in Pakistan was declared a "non-family posting" and families of diplomats were moved out of Islamabad.

India has repeatedly requested Pakistan to mutually ensure that High Commissions were allowed to do their job in an atmosphere free of harassment and intimidation, that staff were allowed to work and that construction projects were completed on time.

India will investigate Pakistan's allegation of harassment of its diplomats here, sources said on Sunday. However, the power supply was reportedly not restored for over two weeks.

These charges come in the light of the two countries re-igniting talks with the initiation of humanitarian gestures. Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj travelled to Pakistan in December 2015 for a regional conference on Afghanistan and Modi visited Lahore in December 2015 on his way back from a trip to Russian Federation.

But a series of attacks on military facilities in India in 2016 put paid to the efforts to resume peace talks. The Indian government also highlighted Pakistan's active support to terrorist groups based on its soil at global fora including the UN General Assembly.

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