India summons Pak envoy, lodges strong protest

New Delhi, June 15 (ANI): Syed Hyder Shah, Pakistan's Charge d'affaires to India leaves from Ministry of External Affairs. He was summoned by MEA after two Indian officials working with Indian High Commission in Islamabad (Pakistan) went missing. (ANI Photo)

A day after two Indian High Commission were forcibly abducted by Pakistani agencies and kept in illegal custody for more than 10 hours and slapped with a battery of fictitious charges, India summoned Charge d’ Affaires of Pakistan High Commission of Pakistan Haider Shah today and lodged a “strong protest” lodged on the issue of the “abduction and torture” of two officials of the High Commission of India in Islamabad by Pakistan security agencies.

Two officials of the Indian High Commission were forcibly abducted by Pakistani agencies on June 15 and kept in illegal custody for more than 10 hours. They were released only after strong intervention by the High Commission of India in Islamabad and the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi.

Indian High Commission, Pakistan

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The two Indian officials were subjected to interrogation, torture and physical assault resulting in grievous injuries to them. They were video-graphed and coerced to accept a litany of fictitious allegations and concocted charges. The vehicle of the High Commission, in which they were travelling, was extensively damaged, MEA said in a strongly worded statement.

“India strongly condemns and deplores the action of the Pakistani authorities in this regard. This premeditated, grave and provocative action on the part of the Pakistani authorities, preceded by intensified surveillance, harassment and intimidation of High Commission personnel over the past several days, was designed to obstruct and disrupt the normal functioning of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. The attempt by Pakistani authorities to levy false accusations and concocted charges on the officials of the High Commission is rejected in entirety,” MEA statement said.

Incidentally, the actions by Pakistan not only violate the tenets of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 but also runs contrary to the ‘Code of Conduct for treatment of Diplomatic and Consular personnel in India and Pakistan signed in 1992 and reaffirmed by both sides in March 2018 and is also against all established norms and practices of diplomatic conduct.

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The MEA statement said, “Our grave concerns at the fact that the Pakistan agencies threatened to physically harm more officials of the Indian Mission have been shared. It has been highlighted that Pakistan is responsible for the safety and security of the Indian High Commission, its officials, staff members, their families and properties.”

Registering a strong protest and condemning Pakistan’s actions, India said such continued unilateral actions by Pakistan, aimed at escalating tensions, will not succeed in diverting attention from the core issue of Pakistan’s continued hostile activities and sponsorship of cross-border terrorism against India.

Indian diplomats including Charge d’ Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia have been harassed and followed by Pakistani agencies of late. High Commission officials have also voiced their concerns of being harassed by Pakistani agencies of late.

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