Wednesday, September 6, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Minor daughters of officials molested
India lodges strong protest with Pak
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Sept 5 — India has taken the gravest view of the molestation of minor daughters of staff members of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan by an intruder on September 2 and has questioned the role of Pakistani intelligence officials in the incident.

Briefing newspersons about the incident, a spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs said the Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Jalil Gillani, was summoned to the ministry and was informed that New Delhi has taken the gravest view of the sordid episode.

The Deputy High Commissioner was also told that India “expected that the perpetrator of this heinous crime, irrespective of his identity, be arrested, prosecuted and punished according to law”, the spokesman said adding that “the same demand was conveyed to the Pakistan Foreign Secretary by our High Commissioner in Islamabad during the course of a meeting today”.

Stating that serious incidents of harassment and intimidation of our High Commission personnel and their families by Pakistani agencies had taken place during the past few days, the spokesman drew attention in particular to an incident which had taken place on September 2 involving an attempt at molestation of minor daughters of staff members of the High Commission by an intruder who had entered the compound of the house of one of the High Commission’s staff members.

The staff member and his wife had gone to a hospital. His daughters aged eight and six and the seven-year-old daughter of another staff member who lives in the same area were playing in the driveway of the house, the spokesman pointed out. At around 5 pm an intruder entered the compound and took two of the girls to one corner of the garden and attempted to physically misbehave with them. The girls resisted and ran inside the house. At this stage, the intruder left the house, the spokesman said adding that “ the girls informed the staff member and his wife of the incident when they returned”.

Confirming that an FIR about this heinous crime had been lodged by the Indian High Commission with the local police authorities, the spokesman said there was a little room to doubt that the intelligence officials of Pakistan, who were keeping a surveillance over the house did nothing to prevent it.

“It also appears that the intruder not only had the knowledge of the absence of the staff member and his wife but was also sure that they would not return home early”, the spokesman said.

The spokesman said the Pakistan Foreign Secretary and the Deputy High Commissioner expressed regret over this reprehensible act and said the Pakistan authorities would carry out a full investigation of the incident.

In another incident on September 3, a staff member and his family were proceeding by car from Islamabad to Taxila when they were stopped at a police check post, questioned and taken to a police station where they were detained for 40 minutes, the spokesman said recalling that the residential premises of two senior Indian diplomats were intruded upon by the operatives of the Pakistan intelligence agencies on August 20.

These highhanded actions of the Pakistan authorities were in complete violation of the Vienna Convention and the Bilateral Code of Conduct for the Treatment of Diplomatic Personnel. The government had lodged strong protests against these actions of the Pakistan authorities, the spokesman said.

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