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2 Indian High Commission officials missing in Pak since morning; Govt takes up matter with Islamabad

This comes days after the vehicle of India’s Charge d’affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia was chased by a member of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

SNS | New Delhi |

Two officials working with the Indian High Commission have been reported missing in Pakistan since Monday morning. Their whereabouts have been untraceable so far.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has take up the matter with Islamabad and sought a response.

“A vehicle with two Central Industrial Security Force drivers had gone out for duty, did not reach the destination. Since then they are missing,” sources quoted by IANS said.

Akhilesh Singh, First Secretary and Spokesperson, Indian High Commission, Pakistan has said that the two officials have been missing since morning while on official work.

This comes days after the vehicle of India’s Charge d’affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia was chased by a member of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on June 4.

Sources stated that the ISI had stationed multiple persons in cars and bikes outside his residence to harass and intimidate him.

Ahluwalia is the top Indian diplomat currently posted in Islamabad.

The incident occurred just days after two Pakistani officials of the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi were caught for espionage and asked by India to leave the country after being declared persona non grata.

Also Pakistan’s Charge de Affairs was issued a demarche in which a strong protest was lodged over the activities of the two officials against India’s national security.

Thereafter, Pakistan has been trying a tit-for-tat, targeting to expel Indian High Commission officials from the country for one reason or another.

Amid this, the High Commission is finding it difficult to resume normal functioning. The Indian diplomats and consular officials are facing aggressive tailing and surveillance.

Last Friday, India registered protest in the form of a note verbale to Pakistan authorities. India has asked Pakistan to ensure the safety and security of the Indian High Commission and its staff and to allow them to resume their activities in keeping with the Vienna Convention.

India told Pakistan that the behaviour of its agencies violated Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 and also the bilateral 1992 Code of Conduct which the two countries signed to provide diplomats immunity from hostilities in ties.

In March, the Indian High Commission in Pakistan had sent a strong protest note to the foreign ministry in Islamabad protesting against the continuing harassment of its officers and staff by Pakistani agencies.

According to the note, India cited 13 instances of harassment in the month of March itself and asked Pakistan to stop such incidents and investigate the matter.

India had asked Pakistani authorities to “investigate these incidents urgently and instruct the relevant agencies to ensure that similar incidents do not recur”.