In an unsavory turn of events, two Indian High Commission officials went missing in Pakistan on Monday, prompting New Delhi to register a strong protest both in the neighboring country and here.
They have been incommunicado for the last few hours. It's suspected that Pakistani agencies picked them up to falsely frame them as spies.
Islamabad claimed it was looking into the matter.
Reports suggested the two officers had stepped out for some work. When they didn't reach their destination, high commission officials informed New Delhi and Pakistan.
The Ministry of External Affairs is learned to have taken up the matter with the warring neighbor. South Block is also watching the developments.
Separately, the Indian mission in Islamabad alerted local authority and Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This development comes weeks after Delhi expelled two officials of the Pakistan High Commission on charges of espionage. They were trying to obtain classified information related to the Indian security establishment.
An official in the know said they were caught red-handed when they were giving cash and an iPhone to an Indian national.
Later, they confessed they worked with ISI.
The two officials who were expelled on May 31 worked with the visa unit of the Pakistani mission. 42-year-old Abid Hussain Abid was an assistant in the Pakistani mission and 44-year-old Mohammad Tahir Khan was employed as a clerk.
After the embarrassing expulsion of two of its nationals, Pakistan has been trying to "level score" with India, creating problematic situations for Indian officials deployed there.
Islamabad increased tailing and surveillance on Indian officials multi-fold to an extent that India's Charge d'affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia was followed by a biker, presumably working with the ISI.
On Friday, India registered its displeasure through a verbal note.
Though a large proportion of work remains suspended, in the wake of the coronavirus situation, Indian officials are finding it difficult to even step out without intimidation.
India reminded Pakistan that its behavior violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, and the bilateral 1992 Code of Conduct, which specify that diplomats will always be immune to the bitterness between South Asian countries.
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