India issues note verbale to Pakistan over harassment of diplomats
India has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over several incidents of alleged harassment of Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad between March 8 and 11, and demanded an immediate investigation into them, official sources said on Monday.
The Indian High Commission issued a “note verbale” to Pakistan Foreign Ministry on March 13, giving a detailed account of the incidents including tailing of India’s Deputy High Commissioner, Naval Adviser and a first secretary on multiple occasions, they said.
The sources said the deputy high commissioner was aggressively tailed by Pakistani security personnel on March 9 and 10 while the first secretary faced similar harassment on March 8.
The Naval Adviser in the mission was subjected to aggressive tailing by Pakistani security personnel on March 8, 9, 10 and 11, they said.
One Pakistani agency personnel was observed keeping surveillance outside the residence of the Indian Deputy High Commissioner on March 9 and 10.
Sources said two Pakistani security agency personnel have been following the High Commissioner on a daily basis.
In the note verbale, which is a diplomatic communication, the Indian High Commission has sought an urgent investigation into the incidents, saying such cases of harassment are violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. India’s strong protest over the incidents came in the midst of severe strain in bilateral ties between the two neighbours.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after Indian Air Force fighter jets bombed terror group JeM training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan on February 26.
Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations the next day. However, the IAF thwarted their plans.
The Indian strike on the JeM camp came 12 days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama in which 40 soldiers were killed.