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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Tuesday summoned the acting Indian high commissioner to receive a protest over threats to the safety and security of Pakistan’s diplomatic mission in India.

“Special Secretary (Asia Pacific) Imtiaz Ahmad summoned the Acting Indian High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia… and called for foolproof measures for safety and security of the Pakistan House, High Commission and its officers / officials and their families in New Delhi,” the FO said in a statement.

The protest was lodged following a demonstration on Monday in New Delhi, in which protesters were allowed to go up to the Pakistan House and jolt its gates despite presence of security personnel.

“It was underscored that despite a strong protest to the Indian government, acts of harassment targeting the Pakistan High Commission, Pakistan House, and the Officers / Officials of the High Commission and their families continued, including abusive calls to the Pakistan High Commission helpline,” the FO said.

Mr Ahmed demanded “a comprehensive, immediate investigation” of the security breach so as to prevent recurrence of such events.

Meanwhile, Pakistani nationals staying in the Indian city of Bikaner in Rajasthan state have been asked to leave the area within 48 hours, allegedly to avoid the building up of a law and order situation as anti-Pakistan and anti-Kashmir sentiment soars in India in the wake of the Pulwama attack, the Times of India reported. Bikaner district collector Kumar Pal Gautam issued the orders on Monday with immediate effect, said the Times in its report.

The orders will remain applicable for a period of two months, or until they are cancelled. Those violating the orders face the threat of prosecution under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

The order referred to a so-called resentment against Pakistanis among locals following the killing of over 40 soldiers in a suicide blast in occupied Kashmir last week the worst attack on Indian paramilitaries in the region in 30 years. The attack was claimed by proscribed orga­nisation Jaish-i-Muhammad.

Section 144 of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code has been imposed in Bikaner, and Pakistani nationals in the revenue border area have been asked to leave the place.

The orders mentioned that the stay of Pakistani nationals is prohibited in guest houses and hotels and that businessmen will not maintain direct or indirect business ties with Pakistani nationals or provide them employment, the Times reported.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2019