Pakistan Arrests 2 Indian Embassy Staff over Hit-and-Run Incident
The two Indian High Commission staffers in Pakistan have been arrested by Pakistani police after their car hit and injured a pedestrian in capital Islamabad.
The officials identified as Dwimu Brahma and Paul Selvadhas were security officials of India’s Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), assigned as security to the High Commissioner and other diplomats. The officials, as per police sources, “were over speeding when the accident occurred.” They were posted at the mission in 2017 as non-diplomatic staff.
The source added that the two men have been released at the “special request of the Pakistan Foreign Ministry,” and were handed over to a senior official at the Indian High Commission because they still fall under diplomatic immunity.
According to local news channels, a pedestrian was struck and injured by a BMW on Embassy Road at around 8 a.m. Monday. They tried to flee, but the car was stopped by a huge crowd of people, who handed the men over to police.
Indian media reported that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on Monday summoned a Pakistani diplomat in New Delhi to lodge a protest over the arrest.
Sources in New Delhi stated Pakistan’s charge d’affaires Syed Hyder Shah was convoked to the Ministry of External Affairs and demarche on the reported detention of two Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad.
India, in its objection upon the arrests, has made it clear that there should be no inquiry or harassment of the Indian officials. The responsibility for the security and security of the concerned diplomatic personnel lay squarely with the Pakistani authorities; the govt has conveyed to Pakistan.
Sources said the Pakistan side was asked to return the two officials alongside their official car to the Indian High Commission immediately.
The intriguing drama of the two officials’ arrest had come after two weeks when the Indian government deported two Pakistan High Commission officials from New Delhi after they were accused of allegedly spying charges.
Last month, India expelled two Pakistani diplomats accused of spying and conducting “anti-India activities.” Islamabad denounced the move and the “false and unsubstantiated charges,” and claimed the two employees had been subject to “torture.”
Pakistan’s foreign ministry stated the decision to declare the two personas non grata was “characterized by a contradictory pre-planned and choreographed media campaign, which may be a piece of determining anti-Pakistan propaganda.
“It stated the Indian diplomat was asked and dispensed a demarche of its own, rebuking the “baseless Indian accusations.”
Tit-for-tat purges of diplomats between India and Pakistan are frequent, mostly when tensions over Kashmir’s disputed region are crucial, or when there are military operations or militant assaults.
In August last year, the Indian government dismantled Kashmir of its sovereignty and distinctive status, urging Pakistan to depreciate diplomatic relations and halt bilateral trade with India. The two countries have had a long-running dispute over Kashmir for quite 70 years.
India and Pakistan have battled two of their three wars over the Kashmir charge since they gained independence from British colonialists in 1947. Kashmir is divided between the two neighbors and claimed by both in its entirety.