Tuesday, 24 May, 2022
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2 Indian High Commission staffers missing in Islamabad, MEA takes up matter with Pakistan

The two drivers from the CISF were on deputation with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

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New Delhi: Two drivers working with the Indian High Commission in Pakistan have gone missing after they stepped out on duty Monday. The incident comes just a fortnight after India detained three staff members of the Pakistani mission in Delhi on charges of spying.

Official sources said both the drivers belonged to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), a central police force, and were on deputation with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

The two had left for work outside the High Commission but had not reached their destination on time. The issue has been raised officially with Pakistan,” a source said.

The sources said the two seemed to have been picked up by Pakistani security agencies as movement of Indian vehicles and staff are always under the observation of Pakistani intelligence agencies. 

According to sources, the Ministry of External Affairs has taken up the matter with Indian officials in Islamabad and with the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi. The Indian High Commission in Islamabad has also taken it up with the Pakistan Foreign Office.

A possible ‘tit-for-tat’ move

The sources said it is suspected to be a case of tit-for-tat as India had detained two Pakistani staff members and their driver in Delhi last month. The two Pakistani officials were then expelled for spying.

The duo were apprehended by law enforcement authorities here while allegedly trying to obtain top security documents related to the Indian security establishment.

Following this, Pakistani agencies had allegedly started harassing Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad.

Indian diplomats, including chargé d’affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia, were harassed and aggressively tailed by Pakistani security personnel in Islamabad.  

India had also complained about intimidating behaviour by the Pakistani personnel outside their residences.

Several videos shared on social media purportedly showed Pakistani intelligence personnel on motorcycles tailing the Indian diplomats, including Ahluwalia. 

Also read: India and China increased their nuclear weapons stockpile over last year: Swedish think tank

With inputs from Nayanima Basu.

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  1. Very unfortunate. There is a reason why the Geneva and Vienna Conventions exist. Amidst conflict, war, estrangement, some norms of civilised behaviour should be respected by both sides. India and Pakistan and their long history of mutual acrimony are not unique. All of this is based on reciprocity. At this rate, it is only a matter of time before the two embassies shut down. All the good work they do, 24 / 7, will then have to be done by people working without diplomatic cover.

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