Pakistan alleges India harassing its diplomats

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Government sources said "harassment is the new normal for Indian High Commission personnel in Islamabad" for the past more than one year, with the Indian High Commissioner lodging a strong protest almost a month ago on February 16 with Islamabad "against multiple acts of hooliganism against Indian properties and personnel".

A day after Islamabad accused New Delhi of harassing its diplomats and their families in India and threatened to pull them out if the intimidation did not stop, officials told The Times of India that the hostilities began with the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence's raid on a residential complex under construction for Indian diplomats in Islamabad on February 16. Pakistani agencies even cut off the electricity and the water supply in an Indian residential complex, only to be restored after two weeks.

As a result, most families of Indian officials have returned to India, withdrawing their children from schools.

Members of the Pakistan High Commission have flagged the Indian foreign ministry officials and their families of getting harassed.

"Over the last few months, High Commission staff have been harassed and intimidated". "We would like to continue the fine tradition of allowing diplomats to do their jobs", sources added.

While Pakistan has issued a demarche to India saying it was becoming hard for its diplomats to function in Delhi, sources here said the present round of hostility was initiated by an ISI raid on a residential complex under construction for Indian diplomats in Islamabad.

New Delhi reacted strongly to the charge, saying that while the Pakistani charges would no doubt be investigated, "India makes all efforts to provide a safe, secure and hospitable environment for diplomats to work in".

Despite the protest by the Indian High Commissioner, the power supply wasn't restored for more than 2 weeks and his own auto was intercepted in the middle of the road preventing him from attending an event. Agency personnel keep shooting videos of the officers thrusting phones on their faces. Obscene phone calls and messages were constantly received on phones, sources said.

Besides, the Islamabad Club is learnt to have stalled the membership of Bisaria, who was posted as High Commissioner a year ago, without assigning any reason.

Sources also said that such incidents had "greatly subsided" on both sides after 2001-2002 but happen as "tit-for-tat actions" in both national capitals.

Indian diplomats in Pakistan have also faced similar challenges, according to another person in the report. "That has been the case for last decade or so, and it should be maintained".