India issues note verbale after High Commission officials 'aggressively followed' in Pakistan

Syed Haider Shah

Kumar said that India is looking into the issues raised by Islamabad, but said that at the same time, the Indian High Commission there has also been facing issues that were raised several months ago.

"On Friday, four High Commission of India officials travelling in an official vehicle were aggressively followed while going to Aabpara market by two unknown persons on motorbikes in an intimidating manner". An Indian officer and his family were followed by bike-borne men on Thursday, March 15, in Islamabad.

"We have asked the Pakistan government to investigate these incidents and ensure that they do not recur, and to share the results of the investigation with us", the source said.

The tit-for-tat doorbell wars began when the bell of the Indian Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan was rung at 3 am, Bloomsberg correspondent Ian Marlow tweeted.

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"This deliberate bullying, which continues is not confined to a single isolated event, and continues unabated despite repeated official protests lodged with the Indian high commission here", Faisal was quoted as saying in The Express Tribune.

Kumar also added that India wants its mission in Pakistan to function normally, in keeping with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961.

The tit for tat action had already started in May of previous year when Pakistan started intermittently "blocking Indian government websites in Pakistan" including the one used to receive and process visas over the internet.

Sohail Mahmood, the Pakistani High Commissioner to India, had been called back two days ago for consultations following accusations and counter accusations that diplomats of both countries and their families were being harassed and intimidated.

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They also say that Indian diplomats in Pakistan have been subjected to lewd phone calls and messages in addition to unusually aggressive surveillance techniques.

New Delhi too played down the issue and clarified that it was not an official recall.

On the other hand, Indian diplomats in Islamabad have complained of shortage in supply of water and gas in their residential complexes there and doorbells being run in the wee hours of the morning.

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