New Delhi to take up with Islamabad harassment of iftar guests at Indian mission

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jun 02, 2019, 01:13 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

A number of guests who were invited by the Indian mission to Islamabad's posh Serena hotel had to face considerable hardship as Pakistani security forces stopped them from attending the event.

India will take up the matter regarding harassment of guests invited to iftar organised by the Indian high commission in Islamabad, top government sources have confirmed to WION.

A number of guests who were invited by the Indian mission to Islamabad's posh Serena hotel had to face considerable hardship as Pakistani security forces stopped them from attending the event. Some were physically manhandled, while others were simply told that the iftar has been cancelled. 

Overall the turnout was low at the Indian mission's iftar, as Pakistani security agencies turned many guests away which is ironical in a pious Muslim country like Pakistan which knows the significance of breaking the fast during Ramazan. 

Press secretary of the former Pakistani President Asif Zardari Farhatullah Babar who was invited at the iftar took to Twitter and spoke about the harassment meted out.

"Came to Serena for iftar hosted by Indian HC. Hotel seems barricaded. Told that iftar cancelled. When insisted, I was told to use other gate. Other gate also closed and told to go back to front gate again. What’s going on, something fishy,'' he tweeted.

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A Pakistani journalist Mehreen Zahra-Malik who was there to pick someone tweeted, "Unprecedented level of harassment at @serena_hotels Islamabad. #India embassy iftaar happening & police & anti terrorism force misbehaving with anyone trying into get in the hotel. Got screamed at, my driver abused."

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WION's correspondent Anas Mallick who was iftar also confirmed that he faced a lot of trouble while reaching to the venue. Before the iftar, many invitees got calls asking not to go to the iftar, he added.

The Indian high commissioner Ajay Bisaria speaking at the event said, "I would apologise to all our friends who were subjected to extra scrutiny"

Harassment of Indian diplomats has been a norm in Islamabad for months now. From snapping electricity to being aggressively followed has been reported with India sending note verbale asking Pakistani foreign ministry to investigate the incidents.

India, Pakistan code of conduct of 1992 says safety and security of the premises of diplomatic personnel, their families shall be respected and protected.

Meanwhile, Pakistan government sources accused Indian security forces of harassing the iftar guests at Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

“Out of the 73 guests, only 25 made to Iftar in Delhi due to intimidation by Indian security agencies outside Pakistani High Commission.'' Pakistan diplomatic sources said.

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