The Pakistani action is seen as retaliation after two Pakistan officials were asked to leave India last month.
New Delhi: Confirming that its two High Commission officials suffered grievous injuries while being tortured and physically assaulted during their illegal custody by Pakistani security agencies on Monday in Islamabad, India on Tuesday summoned Pakistani Charge d’Affaires Syed Haidar Shah for the second time in two days and lodged a strong protest with Pakistan, telling it that Pakistani agencies had threatened to harm more officials of the Indian High Commission.
New Delhi also condemned Islamabad for its action of torturing and coercing the officials to accept false charges against them and rejected “the attempt by Pakistani authorities to levy false accusations and concocted charges on the officials of the High Commission”.
The Pakistani action by its spy agency ISI is seen as retaliation by Islamabad after two Pakistan High Commission officials were asked to leave India late last month after being caught carrying out espionage activities.
In a day-long drama on Monday, the two Indian High Commission staffers, who had gone missing while on official duties on Monday morning, were released late on Monday evening and handed back to the Indian High Commission after claims by the Pakistani police that they were involved in a road accident or hit-and-run case. An FIR filed against them by the Pakistani Police mentioned that they caused injuries to a person and were also in possession of fake currency worth Rs 10,000.
In its statement, New Delhi said, “The Charge d’ Affaires of the High Commission of Pakistan, Mr Haider Shah, was summoned today and a strong protest lodged on the issue of the abduction and torture of two officials of the High Commission of India in Islamabad by Pakistan security agencies. Two officials of the Indian High Commission were forcibly abducted by Pakistani agencies on 15 June 2020 and kept in illegal custody for more than 10 hours. The two Indian officials were subjected to interrogation, torture and physical assault resulting in grievous injuries to them. They were video-graphed and coerced to accept a litany of fictitious allegations and concocted charges. The vehicle of the High Commission, in which they were travelling, was extensively damaged. ... The attempt by Pakistani authorities to levy false accusations and concocted charges on the officials of the High Commission is rejected in entirety”.
The MEA added, “Our grave concerns at the fact that the Pakistan agencies threatened to physically harm more officials of the Indian Mission have been shared. It has been highlighted that Pakistan is responsible for the safety and security of the Indian High Commission, its officials, staff members, their families and properties.”
Pointing out that its two officials were released on Monday evening “only after strong intervention” by New Delhi, the MEA further said that the Government of India strongly condemned and deplored the action of the Pakistani authorities.
"This premeditated, grave and provocative action on the part of the Pakistani authorities, preceded by intensified surveillance, harassment and intimidation of High Commission personnel over the past several days, was designed to obstruct and disrupt the normal functioning of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.”
India also alleged that Pakistan's actions violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, the ‘Code of Conduct for treatment of Diplomatic / Consular personnel in India and Pakistan signed in 1992 and reaffirmed by both sides in March 2018, and also all established norms and practices of diplomatic conduct.
"Such continued unilateral actions by Pakistan, aimed at escalating tensions, will not succeed in diverting attention from the core issue of Pakistan’s continued hostile activities and sponsorship of cross-border terrorism against India," the MEA said.