Pakistan releases Indian High Commission officials after India lodges protest over reported arrest

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Updated: Jun 15, 2020, 11:33 PM(IST)

Relations between New Delhi and Islamabad deteriorated after the Uri attack and India's ensuing surgical strikes. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The Pakistani media reported that the two Indian staffers were arrested by Pakistani agencies for their alleged involvement in a "hit and run" case, but there was no official word on it from Islamabad.

Two officials of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan were freed hours after they went missing and were reportedly arrested by the authorities in Islamabad.

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of External Affairs of India asked Islamabad that the duo must be freed immediately. 

Also read: MEA summons Pakistani deputy high commissioner over missing Indian officials

MEA had summoned the Pakistan deputy high commissioner and handed over a demarche in which it was made clear that there should be no interrogation or harassment of the Indian officials and the responsibility for the safety and security of the concerned diplomatic personnel lay squarely with the Pakistani authorities. The Pakistan side was asked to return the two officials along with the official car to the High Commission immediately.

The Pakistani media reported that the two Indian staffers were arrested by Pakistani agencies for their alleged involvement in a "hit and run" case, but there was no official word on it from Islamabad.

Accidents involving vehicles belonging to diplomatic missions have been frequent in recent years, Pakistani media reports said.

Earlier this year, an SUV belonging to the US Embassy drove into a car on a main artery of Islamabad, killing a woman and injuring five members of her family. The police arrested the Pakistani driver of the US Embassy and registered a case against him.

Monday's incident comes two weeks after India expelled two Pakistan High Commission officials here on charges of espionage. India had declared Abid Hussain and Muhammad Tahir as ''persona non grata'' after they were found obtaining sensitive documents relating to the movement of Indian Army troops from an Indian national, according to authorities here.

Following their expulsion, Pakistani agencies started harassing several Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad including charge d'affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia.

Pakistan had downgraded diplomatic ties by expelling the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad following India’s decision to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August last year.

(With inputs from PTI)

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