ISI raid on Indian diplomats sparks showdown between New Delhi and Islamabad

ISI raid on Indian diplomats sparks showdown between New Delhi and Islamabad

Delhi is particularly anxious that Indian diplomats have been harassed by ISI and police in the past one year.

Pakistan ministry of foreign affairs (MoFA) sources, meanwhile, also alleged harassment of Pakistani diplomats in New Delhi, saying that there have been "six incidents of harassment reported in a span of three days" following which a "note verbale" was issued to India.

India on Sunday said it would investigate Pakistan's charge that its diplomats posted in New Delhi were facing harassment even as it levelled serious allegations against Islamabad for harassing Indian diplomats posted at the High Commission in Pakistan.

According to sources, the hostility towards the Pakistan diplomats was triggered by an ISI raid on a residential complex under construction for Indian diplomats in Islamabad.

Despite the Foreign Secretary's assurance, power supply was not restored for over two weeks, sources said.

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Officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad have also faced a lot of difficulties in the past, which included hooliganism. The Pakistani media claims that in one such incident of alleged harassment of the Pakistani diplomats in Delhi, a senior Pakistani official's vehicle was stopped in Delhi's Chanakyapuri. "It is becoming hard for the Pakistani diplomats posted in India to keep their families with them due to increase in harassment incidents", the daily quoted an unidentified official as saying.

Meanwhile, unidentified diplomats told The Indian Express that Pakistani agencies had recently stopped Bisaria's auto in the middle of a busy road to prevent him from attending a lunch the Bohra community had hosted in Karachi. India has said it has repeatedly requested Pakistan to mutually ensure an atmosphere free of fear.

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".

As a result, most families of Indian officials have returned to India, withdrawing their children from schools. "Obscene phone calls and messages are constantly received on phones", said a source to TOI. During the raid, which took place last month, a group of 7-8 men disconnected the electricity and water supply to the property which is owned by India. Indian diplomats continue to reside in different parts of Islamabad, compromising their security and safety, said sources. "That has been the case for last decade or so, and it should be maintained".

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