New Delhi, January 13
A woman academic from Punjab has accused staff of the Pakistan High Commission in the visa section in Delhi of indecent behaviour and sexual harassment.
She had applied for a visa to travel to Pakistan and had booked an appointment with the Pakistan High Commission online.
The professor alleged that an employee there asked her personal questions, which made her uncomfortable. She alleged, "The employee asked me, 'Why am I not married? How do I live without marriage? What do I do for my sexual desires?'"
"It was also asked whether I supported Khalistan. Or could I write on Kashmir issues?" she told ANI.
She said she was uncomfortable with the questions and tried to change the topic.
"I continued to be polite and tolerated him as I wanted the visa. Around 45 minutes of this torture continued," she said.
According to a WhatsApp chat screenshot which the victim has sent to ANI, it is alleged that the Pakistan diplomat asked her to write against the Government of India and offered her handsome remuneration. She said she refused to do so.
The victim has written to the Ministry of External Affairs and authorities concerned about the harassment and sought justice.
"I wish to inform you about the indecent and objectionable behaviour of officials of the High Commission of Pakistan, New Delhi, during my visit for obtaining a visa and also a month later over the phone and chat on my personal number," the academic told ANI.
Describing her experience to ANI over the phone, she said, "On March 15, 2022, I had a visa appointment at the High Commission which I had booked online over the website. I reached there around 9.45 am and entered the complex around 10am. I was asked to wait for an hour and a half in the waiting lounge. I was asked a few general questions about my visit and then later asked to go to a room where I waited along with some officials for a few minutes before the visa officer arrived. He asked me the purpose of my visit. I explained that I wished to visit Lahore, photograph the monuments and write on them and then visit Abbottabad University for a lecture at the university. In less than two minutes he told me that the visa cannot be granted."
During chats for visa approval, the Pakistan High Commission officials asked her to come for dinner and stay with them, she claimed.
She said she wanted punishment for the officials.
The Pakistan High Commission said it is looking into the allegations.
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