India protest to Pakistan for harassment at envoy’s iftar

Diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan further nose-dived after the Pakistani security forces harassed, coerced and turned back several guests invited for an iftar party by Indian high commissioner Ajay Bisaria in Islamabad on Saturday night. The Indian government has strongly protested about the matter, and said that besides the guests, the Pakistani security forces also misbehaved with the Indian diplomatic staff and had snatched their mobiles.

India said such acts of intimidation and coercion violate the basic norms of diplomatic conduct and are counter-productive for the bilateral relationship between the two nations. India also asked the Pakistan foreign office to investigate the incident and share its findings.

The incident on June 1 by the Pakistani side in Islamabad is seen as a direct retaliation for recent incidents in New Delhi where Indian sleuths and policemen were accused of intimidating and turning back several guests from the Pakistan high commission iftar dinner on May 28.

A similar incident was reported on March 23, 2019 on the occasion of Pakistan Day after the Indian government announced it would boycott the event. Several invitees reported harassment by Indian security personnel and were asked to return.

About the June 1 incident in Islamabad, the Indian government has issued a Note Verbale to Pakistan saying while the guests faced unprecedented harassment and intimidation at the hands of security forces, a concerted campaign was launched by Pakistan’s security agencies in the days preceding the iftar function to reach out to the invites to actively dissuade them from attending it.

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