Pakistan to release 2 'missing' Indian High Commission officials: Report
Hours after two Indian High Commission officials had gone missing in Pakistan, reports emerged that the officials had been arrested. Pakistani authorities have now told the Indian mission that the two officials will be released, Hindustan Times reported. The incident comes a fortnight after India expelled two Pakistan High Commission officials for indulging in espionage activities. Here are more details.
Officials stepped out for work Monday morning; went missing
On Monday morning, the two officials had stepped out for some work, but did not reach their destination, officials said. Initially, when New Delhi approached Pakistan's foreign office, the latter said it was "still looking into the matter." Later in the evening, Pakistani media reported that the two officials had been picked up by Pakistani security agencies in connection with a "hit-and-run" case.
India's Foreign Ministry then summoned Pakistan envoy
India's Ministry of External Affairs then summoned Pakistan's charge d'affaires Syed Haider Shah. The MEA told Shah that there should be no interrogation or harassment of the Indian officials and emphasized Pakistan's responsibility to ensure their safety and security. A government source told HT, "The Pakistani side was asked to return the two officials along with the official car to the High Commission immediately."
'Indian High Commission can pick up the 2 officials'
Thereafter, the Indian High Commission was told by Pakistani authorities that the two officials were being held at a police station in Islamabad. The source told the publication, "It has been conveyed to the high commission that they can pick up the two Indian officials."
Earlier, India expelled two Pakistani officials on espionage charges
On May 31, India expelled two officials of the Pakistan High Commission on charges of espionage. Officials reportedly said they were caught red-handed when they were giving cash and an iPhone to an Indian national. Later, they confessed to working for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the officials said. It was suspected that Indian High Commission officials in Pakistan were picked up in retaliation.