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In tit-for-tat, Pak picks up Indian official

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Forum' started by RPK, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. RPK

    RPK SENIOR MEMBER

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    In tit-for-tat, Pak picks up Indian official



    In what is being seen as a “retaliation” to the detention of a Pakistan High Commission driver for entering a restricted area in Chandigarh on the day of the India-Pakistan match, an Indian High Commission official in Islamabad was picked up Thursday evening while returning home from work — setting off a potential diplomatic stand-off between the two countries.

    The official, who works with the Consular section, was handed over to an Indian High Commission official Friday evening, hours after strong protests from India.

    Sources said Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao spoke to her Pakistan counterpart Salman Bashir and asked that the Indian official be released “immediately and unharmed”. The Indian High Commission in Islamabad had immediately taken up the matter with the Pakistan Foreign Office and expressed “serious concern” over the official’s disappearance.

    The High Commission also asked the Pakistan government to trace the missing Indian official and ensure his safety and well-being. The message was also conveyed to Pakistan High Commission by the Ministry of External Affairs.


    On Wednesday, a Pakistani driver posted with the Pakistan High Commission is said to have been detained after he allegedly strayed into the restricted, military area near the Chandigarh airport. The driver, as per sources, was kept in detention for questioning overnight and released Thursday morning.

    While he was under detention, sources said the driver attempted to escape and in the process sustained bruises and minor injuries on his knee and back.

    The driver was detained around 6 pm on March 30 when, having parked his car at some distance, he was spotted by a sentry while trying to enter the prohibited zone. According to sources, he refused to reveal his identity for hours during his questioning. It was only around 10 pm that he revealed that he was a driver working with the Pakistan High Commission.

    Following this, the security agencies began verifying his credentials and it was not before late night that his identity could be established. Before being released, sources said a medical check-up was done which certified that he was in good health. However, security agencies were still to find a credible explanation on why he was loitering in a prohibited area.

    Since all of these events were unfolding at a time when the Prime Ministers of both India and Pakistan were inside Mohali’s PCA stadium watching the match, it was decided not to escalate the matter immediately given the possibility of it triggering a diplomatic row between both countries, sources said. “With both PMs watching the match, the incident could have caused a huge diplomatic embarrassment,” a source said.

    With ENS, Chandigarh
     
  2. RPK

    RPK SENIOR MEMBER

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    The Hindu : News / National : Old ghosts come back to haunt ‘Mohali spirit'


    Both sides breached an eight-year-old informal agreement to conform to civil norms of behaviour whenever diplomats or staff from either country are suspected to have not honoured the severe restrictions imposed on their movement.

    At a time when the top leadership of India and Pakistan has resolved to repair bilateral ties, the security agencies on both sides have struck a discordant note by resurrecting the unfortunate practice of roughing up each other's High Commission staffers.

    On Wednesday, a few miles from the Mohali stadium where the Prime Ministers of both countries were engaged in cricket diplomacy, a driver with the Pakistani High Commission in India ran foul of the Indian agencies. The Foreign Office in Islamabad kept a lid on news of the temporary “detention” of the man but went public after Pakistani agencies retaliated by picking up an Indian High Commission staffer a day later.

    The hapless Indian staffer in Islamabad was released on Friday evening after Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao called up her Pakistani counterpart, Salman Bashir.

    In the process, both sides breached an eight-year-old informal agreement to conform to civil norms of behaviour whenever diplomats or staff from either country are suspected to have not honoured the severe restrictions imposed on their movement. This unwritten pact was necessitated after four or five incidents of assault and retaliatory beating took place in 2003.

    As per Indian sources, the Pakistan High Commission driver was “discovered'' in a prohibited area near the Chandigarh airport where a large delegation from Islamabad, led by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, had just landed to see the World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan.

    The sources claimed that he attempted to escape while being detained and “in the process sustained minor bruises on his knee and back.” The staffer was questioned and released safe and sound. Before being released, the Indian authorities got him medically examined and said he was in good health.

    The Pakistanis retaliated around the same time a day later by picking up an Indian High Commission staffer while he was on his way home. There was no official confirmation but the media in Pakistan reported his “detention.” The Indian High Commission in Islamabad was silent about both incidents and its officials did not respond to phone calls, seeking their views. However, Pakistani officials claimed their driver was “arrested'' for unknown reasons.
     
  3. RPK

    RPK SENIOR MEMBER

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    Indian official, reported missing, released: Pakistan


    New Delhi/Islamabad: The official of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, who was reportedly missing since Thursday, has now been released.

    The official had not been seen since last evening when he was on his way to his home.

    India had asked Pakistan to locate the official. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao even spoke to to her counterpart in Pakistan and urged that the official be released unharmed.

    Earlier this week, a driver who worked for the Pakistani High Commission in India was detained after he was discovered in a high-security area near Chandigarh. He allegedly tried to escape and was injured in the process. He was released a day later, with a medical certificate establishing that he had not been hurt seriously during his 24-hour detention.

    ---------- Post added at 10:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:49 AM ----------

    India Pakistan match over, strain returns - The Economic Times



    New Delhi . The new phase of civility in relations between India and Pakistan seems over before it even began. The Pakistani police has picked up an Indian High Commission official in Islamabad in what is being is seen as a tit-for-tat response to the detention of a Pakistan High Commission employee in Mohali.

    The Ministry of External Affairs has already registered its protests with the Pakistan foreign office. "We have told them that they should ensure the safe return of the official," said sources in the MEA. Pakistan, meanwhile, said that the person arrested by the security agencies is a driver of its mission in New Delhi.

    "A driver from the High Commission was arrested. He has been released. We have protested," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua told a news agency, without giving details. However, officials here denied the claim of arrest and said that he was detained for questioning after he entered a restricted area.

    Pakistan's 'Dawn' newspaper, in its report on the incident, quoted unnamed sources as saying the particular staffer had been under surveillance for some time and was detained by Indian security agencies on Wednesday. The man was released on Thursday.

    The incident occurred at a time when the Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers were in Mohali, the venue of the cricket World Cup semi-final between the two countries, to "discuss ways to strengthen the nascent process of re-engagement by steering it clear of likely hurdles," Dawn said. Both sides kept the incident under wraps to "prevent it from queering the peace pitch," it claimed.
     
  4. RPK

    RPK SENIOR MEMBER

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    After Mohali vow to work for ending hostilities, tit-for-tat arrests - Hindustan Times


    Even after the prime ministers of India and Pakistan vowed to work for ending hostilities on Wednesday in Mohali, the establishments in the two countries continued with their tit-for-tat diplomacy. An official of the Indian high commission in Islamabad went missing on his way back home from work at
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    5.30pm on Thursday, just after a driver at the Pakistan high commission in Delhi was released from detention. Pakistan said the Indian official was arrested for unspecified reasons.

    The driver was detained in Chandigarh after he was found in the defence area near the airport on the day of the India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final match in Mohali on March 30. He was released the next day.

    “A driver from the high commission was arrested. (He) has been released. We have protested,” Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said in Islamabad on Thursday.

    The possibility of a diplomatic row ended, as the Indian official, too, was released in Islamabad, but only after foreign secretary Nirupama Rao requested her Pakistan counterpart Salman Bashir for the return of the official.

    Indian foreign office sources said the Pakistani was bruised on his “knees and back” when he tried to dodge the security personnel who had stopped him. And later, a medical test certified that the driver was fine when he was released.

    “The driver was seen near the Chandigarh cantonment area and when confronted, he tried to escape. In the process of catching him, he sustained some bruises/injury on his knee and back. He was questioned and thereafter released,” sources in New Delhi said.

    The external affairs ministry said the Pakistani authorities did not inform the Indian high commission about the detention of the Indian official.

    There was a Pakistan media report that the official had been detained.