Zardari terms harassment of Pakistani diplomats in India 'uncivilised act'


India and Pakistan are in the middle of a major diplomatic spat with both sides accusing each other of harassing, even intimidating, diplomats.

Pakistan has issued a démarche to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, Dawn reported on Saturday.

An Indian source describing the condition that Indian diplomats in Pakistan are facing, said, "Aggressive surveillance, violation of physical space and tailing of officers in close and risky proximity is a perennial issue. India makes all efforts to provide a safe, secure and hospitable environment for diplomats to work in", a source in the Ministry said. Unfortunately, this can not be said of Islamabad.

Delhi is particularly anxious that Indian diplomats have been harassed by ISI and police in the past one year. The Pakistani diplomats have claimed that in one such incident of harassment, a Pakistani diplomat's kid was stopped on his way to school and the driver was harassed by the Indian security agencies.

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

Sources added that even the High Commissioner's vehicle was intercepted in the middle of the read and was prevented from attending an official event. The members of Pakistan's diplomatic staff have allegedly been abused in public and a number of these vehicles have been involved in accidents.

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The government is keeping a close watch on the incidents of alleged harassment of Indian diplomats in Pakistan.

Sources said that in the intervening night of February 15 and 16, the residential complex in Islamabad, which is still under construction and is opposite the Indian High Commission premises, was raided by Pakistan agencies which expelled all service providers, and later disconnected power and water supply. India has said it has repeatedly requested Pakistan to mutually ensure an atmosphere free of fear. In one case, an official's home was broken into and laptop stolen, sources said.

Sources also alleged that the High Commissioner's auto was recently stopped by Pak agencies in the middle of a busy road to prevent him from attending an event.

Indian government sources also said Pakistani security agencies are resorting to "aggressive surveillance, violation of physical space and tailing of officers in close and unsafe proximity".

Reports of Pakistani agency personnel taking videos of officials on their phones, as well as receiving unpleasant phone calls are quite frequent.