India protests intimidation of guests at Iftar party in Pakistan

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New Delhi: India strongly protested to Pakistan for intimidation of Pakistani guests by security forces at an Iftar party in Indian High Commission in Islamabad yesterday.

The Iftar, traditionally held in the month of Ramzan, was hosted by the High Commission of India at Hotel Serena. Guest faced unprecedented harassment at the hands of security agencies. a press release issued by the High Commission of India said.

The release further stated that India has requested Pakistan to urgently investigate the matter.

“We have requested the government of Pakistan to urgently investigate these ugly events and share the results of the exercise with the High Commission of India. Further, we have emphasised to Pakistan government the need to ensure that diplomats and officials of the High Commission of India are allowed to discharge their diplomatic functions without fear of coercion or harassment,” the release added.

It said, a concerted campaign was launched by Pakistan’s security agencies in the days preceding the Iftar function to reach out to invitees to actively dissuade them from attending the event. In some cases, cars used by invitees were lifted and removed using forklifts.

The High Commission said, more than 300 Pakistani guests who were turned away included parliamentarians, government officials, media representatives and retired diplomats in addition to citizen from all walks of life.

India said, stopping diplomats and officials of the High Commission of India in Pakistan from discharging their diplomatic functions by intimidation and coercion is entirely counter-productive for the bilateral ties.

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