India, Pakistan Trade Allegations Over Harassment of Their High Commission Personnel

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India, Pakistan Trade Allegations Over Harassment of Their High Commission Personnel

India's residential complex in Islamabad was raided by Pakistani agencies which expelled all Pakistani service providers and later disconnected power and water supply.

On the issue of India's residential project in Islamabad, sources said Pakistan had denied visas to Indian companies involved in the construction.

Sharing another incident, the sources said that recently the High Commissioner was stopped by the Pakistani agencies in the middle of a busy road to prevent him from attending an event. According to the report, the children of Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner were stopped and harassed on their way to school over the past three days, while a senior diplomat was harassed while moving in Delhi.

Late past year, India pulled out two junior officials from its high commission after the ISI honeytrapped them and later tried to blackmail them.

Despite the protest by Bisaria, the power supply wasn't restored for over two weeks.

Sources said Pakistan High Commission, too, made complaints of harassment by Indian agencies against Pakistan diplomats. The members of Pakistan's diplomatic staff have allegedly been abused in public and a number of these vehicles have been involved in accidents.

The official source in New Delhi has also alleged that several Indian mission staffers in Islamabad have been severely "harassed and intimidated". "Most families have returned to India and children have been withdrawn from schools", he said."This is nothing new", a senior diplomat told The New Indian Express. These will no doubt be investigated.

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Unfortunately, this can not be said of Islamabad, one of the persons quoted above said. "In one case, an official's home was broken into, and a laptop stolen", sources said.

Indian Government sources also said Pakistani security agencies are resorting to "aggressive surveillance, violation of physical space and tailing of officers in close and risky proximity". "However, Indian diplomats chose to tackle this matter with quiet and persistent diplomacy rather than by airing issues in the media", pointed out a person familiar with the issue. "Obscene phone calls and messages are constantly received on phones", sources said, narrating the experiences of many Indian diplomats.

Besides, the Islamabad Club is learnt to have stalled the membership of Bisaria, who was posted as High Commissioner past year, without assigning any reason.

Sources also said that such incidents had "greatly subsided" on both sides after 2001-2002 but happen as "tit-for-tat actions" in both national capitals.

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

Pakistan's interior ministry is yet to issue the no-objection certificate required for the membership given to Indian diplomats. The main contractor, who is responsible for maintenance of the chancery, is said to have been threatened by Pakistani officials.

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