Sunday, 25 August, 2019

India denounces Pakistan for sabotage of iftar, seeks investigation

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Patty Aguilar | 05 June, 2019, 11:51

Pakistani officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said security agencies had checked guests invited to an iftar at the Pakistani high commission in New Delhi on May 28 and to the National Day reception in March, and described the incidents in Islamabad as an "act of diplomatic reciprocity".

The Commission said in a statement: "The disappointing chain of events on June 1 not only violate basic norms of diplomatic conduct but are against all notions of civilised behaviour".

High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria, in his address to the audience at the event, apologised that some guests were unable to attend the party, ThePrint reported.

In the press release, it was revealed that allegedly, Pakistani security agencies were reaching out to Pakistanis who were invited, to dissuade them from attending the event entirely.

As per ANI source, the Pakistani officials surrounded Hotel Serena, the venue of the Iftar party, and harassed hundreds of guests who had come to attend the function. Numerous guests were turned away from the venue by ISI men, who also tried to snatch the cameras of Indian officials seeking to record the harassment of guests.

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The Iftar party organised at Serena Hotel in Islamabad witnessed a minimal guests turnout due to harassment of the invitees. The guests were intimidated and "aggressively" turned away from the venue by Pakistani officials. In some cases, mobile phone belonging to the officials were snatched away, it added. India also asked the Pakistan foreign office to investigate the incident and share its findings. "Further condemning the harassment tactics by Indian security officials, the letter terms 'these dirty Indian tactics in the holy month of Ramazan", while also calling it a violation of the Vienna Convention.

Babar said that he somehow managed to attend the Indian mission's iftar despite efforts by the local authorities to stop invitees on one pretext or other. #India embassy iftaar happening & police & anti terrorism force misbehaving with anyone trying into get in the hotel.

"I want to apologize to all the friends who were subject to some extra scrutiny outside", Bisaria said on Saturday, using diplomatic language. "Got screamed at, my driver abused", she said. "What's going on, something fishy", he tweeted.

Journalist Mehreen Zahra-Malik said there was "unprecedented level of harassment" at Serena Hotel.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi were among those invited to the event. Bisaria said, "We had a new government which was sworn in just a couple of days ago".

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