Pakistan releases Indian High Commission officials arrested by authorities
The incident comes weeks after two Pakistani officials at the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi were declared persona non grata for indulging in spying and were deported.
The two officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad arrested by Pakistani authorities have been released. Earlier today the staffers were reported missing since 8 AM while out on duty in Islamabad and were later found in the custody of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had summoned the Pakistan Charge d’Affaires in India, Syed Haider Shah, who is also currently the acting high commissioner and had issued a strongly-worded démarche. The demarche to the Pakistan CDA made it clear that “there should be no interrogation or harassment of the Indian officials”. The MEA had demanded the immediate release of the staffers.
Pakistani media, however, reported that according to the FIR registered, the two officials ran over a pedestrian and subsequently attempted to flee. The FIR also stated that counterfeit currency notes were found in the possession of one of the officials, the Dawn reported.
The incident comes weeks after two Pakistani officials at the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi were declared persona non grata for indulging in spying and were deported. Earlier this month, the vehicle of India’s Charge d’Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia was chased by a person suspected to belong to Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence.
The Ministry of External Affairs had in March sent a protest note to Foreign Minister of Pakistan stating that the continuing incidents of harassment of Indian officers and staff by Pakistani agencies were in clear violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.
Ties between India and Pakistan have been severely strained due to continued incidents of firing at the border and terror strikes in Kashmir.
India-Pakistan diplomatic ties have reached at an all-time low after Indian government revoked Article 370 that gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories in August last year. Also, the High Commissions of both countries are supervised by Deputy High Commissioners since then, as both countries had recalled their High Commissioners, further downgrading the diplomatic ties.
The Pulwama terror attack on a CRPF convoy on February 14, 2019, by the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), had created a tensed situation wherein war looked imminent between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team