India lodges protest with Pakistan over ‘abduction, torture’ of 2 High Commission officials

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By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 16, 2020 9:35:36 pm

India pakistan, indian diplomats missing, india high commission pakistan, indian diplomats in pakistan The development comes a day after the two staffers of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan ‘returned’ on Monday. (Representational)

The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday summoned Charge d’ Affaires of Pakistan High Commission Haider Shah and lodged a strong protest over the “abduction and torture” of two officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad by Pakistan security agencies.

The development comes a day after the two staffers of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan “returned” on Monday night after going “missing”. India had issued a demarche to Pakistan and “made clear that there should be no interrogation or harassment of the Indian officials”.

“Two officials of the Indian High Commission were forcibly abducted by Pakistani agencies on 15 June 2020 and kept in illegal custody for more than 10 hours. The vehicle of the High Commission, in which they were travelling, was extensively damaged,” the MEA said.

Pakistani media reports had claimed that the two staffers had been arrested in Islamabad after their vehicle hit a pedestrian. Pakistan TV channel Geo News claimed that Islamabad Police had arrested the two staffers for allegedly attempting to flee after the “accident”.

In a media statement, the MEA said the 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 MEA further said.

While condemning the action of Pakistan, MEA said it rejected the attempt by Pakistani authorities to levy false accusations and concocted charges on the officials of the High Commission.

“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 MEA 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,” the MEA further said.

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