Tuesday, January 21, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Pak cops harass diplomat again
Delhi lodges protest with Islamabad
Tribune News Service and PTI

Islamabad, January 20
In a fresh incident of harassment, vehicles of Pakistani police officials came “dangerously” close to the car of India’s Charge d’Affaires Sudhir Vyas this morning while he was on his way to office here even as New Delhi lodged a strong protest with Islamabad over Saturday’s incident when his car was blocked several times.

Three vehicles, including a pick-up van, surrounded the official car in which Mr Vyas and his wife Vasundhara were travelling, all the way from his residence to the High Commission, prompting the Indian mission to send another protest note to the Pakistan foreign office.

The note verbale protested the “aggressive and dangerous” way Pakistani officials drove their cars by the side of the vehicle of Mr Vyas while he was on the way to office.

The cars of the intelligence officials “drove aggressively and dangerously in a manner designed to intimidate and harass the Charge d’Affaires,” the note said. “The intelligence vehicles in front of and around the flag car repeatedly applied brakes sharply and changed speed and it was only the skill of the driver of the Charge d’Affaires that avoided a physical collision,” the note said.

New Delhi: Pakistani Deputy High Commissioner Jalil Abbas Jilani was summoned to the Foreign Office today and handed over a note verbale conveying New Delhi’s strong protest over the “unprecedented harassment” of its Charge d’Affaires Sudhir Vyas in the Pakistani capital on Saturday night.

The Pakistani diplomat was also conveyed India’s protest over the “lack of courtesy shown to the (Indian) national flag” by the Pakistani intelligence agencies. Mr Jilani was also handed over an aide memoire, recalling previous incidents in which the Indian diplomats had been harassed by the Pakistani agencies in Islamabad. However, the Pakistan Government strongly denied India’s charge, saying that “it could well be a part of a deliberate design of the Indian establishment to further vitiate an already tense atmosphere in the region”.

Indian foreign office spokesman Navtej Sarna said there was no move to recall its Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad Sudhir Vyas. “Why should we recall our Charge d’Affaires. We have already lodged a strong protest with Islamabad”, he said.


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