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Pakistan rejects MEA statement on harassment of Indian High Commission officials over ‘hit-and-run’ case

The MEA had said that the two Indian officials in Islamabad were subjected to interrogation and physical assault resulting in grievous injuries.

SNS | New Delhi |

A day after two Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad were arrested and interrogated over a road accident, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) condemned and deplored action of the Pakistani authorities, following which the country’s foreign office lashed out at India.

The MEA had said that the two Indian officials in Islamabad were subjected to interrogation and physical assault resulting in grievous injuries.

“Attempt by Pak authorities to levy false accusations, concocted charges on officials of Indian high commission is rejected in entirety,” the ministry said.

However, the Pakistan foreign office categorically rejected Indian MEA’s statement on the involvement of Indian High Commission officials in the “hit-and-run” incident and possession of fake currency.

In a typical diplomatic double speak, Pakistan directed its ire at the supposed irresponsible statement and ‘baseless allegations’ made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in the matter relating to the involvement of Indian High Commission officials in a “hit-and-run” incident and possession of fake currency.

It went on to say that the MEA’s statement was a reprehensible attempt to distort facts and deny the culpability of these officials in criminal offences.

Then Pakistan double speak claimed that two officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, Dwimu Brahma and Selvadas Paul, were over-speeding and crashed their car into a pedestrian on Monday. The pedestrian was seriously injured and taken to the hospital for treatment.

The officials attempted to flee from the scene; however, some passersby who witnessed the incident stopped them from fleeing and informed the Police. The police rushed to the scene and took the officials to the police station.

During the course of investigation, Pakistan claimed that fake currency was also recovered from the afore-mentioned officials. After it was confirmed that the said officials were from the Indian High Commission, they were released and handed over to a senior diplomat from the Indian High Commission.

The litany of woes continued with the Pakistan foreign office adding, “The senior Indian diplomat was reminded that possession of fake currency and ‘hit-and-run’ after an incident are serious offences. Such illegal actions and reckless conduct by the officials of the Indian High Commission are against the law and established diplomatic norms. He was also reminded of the Indian High Commission’s obligations to ensure that its members did not engage in illegal activities and adhered to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961.”

According to the Pakistan foreign office: “The Indian MEA’s litany of baseless allegations is yet another attempt to malign Pakistan and a part of desperate efforts to divert attention from India’s state-terrorism in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IoJ&K). The BJP government must realise that its irresponsible policies and unilateral actions are increasingly imperiling peace and security in the region. India must act responsibly in the interest of regional peace and stability.”

The two Indian High Commission staffers in Pakistan, who were presumed missing since Monday morning, were released after they were arrested by Pakistani police for their alleged involvement in an “hit-and-run” accident.

The duo had left the High Commission in a vehicle for official duty at around 8:30 am (IST) and did not reach their destination, the sources said. India had since taken up the matter with its Pakistani counterparts to ensure the safety of the Indian officials.

Following the disappearance of the Indian officials, the Ministry of External Affairs summoned Pakistan’s Chargé d’affaires to India, Syed Hyder Shah and lodged a strong protest over the reported arrest.

India also issued a demarche to the Pakistan charge d’affaires making it clear that there should be no interrogation or harassment of the Indian officials and the responsibility for their safety and security lay squarely with the Pakistani authorities.

As per reports, the Pakistan side was asked to return the two officials along with the official car to the High Commission immediately.

According to sources quoted by PTI news agency, the MEA told the Pakistan’s Charge d’affaires to India that the responsibility of safety and security of Indian personnel in Islamabad “lays squarely with Pakistani authorities.”