Pakistan rejects Delhi's 'irresponsible' statement on hit-and-run accident involving Indian High Commission officials

16 Jun 2020

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FO Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said India must act responsibly in the interest of regional peace and stability. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan/File
FO Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said India must act responsibly in the interest of regional peace and stability. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan/File

The Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday rejected the Indian Ministry of External Affairs' "irresponsible" statement regarding the detention of two Indian High Commission employees involved in a hit-and-run in Islamabad a day earlier, calling it a "reprehensible attempt to distort facts and deny culpability".

In a statement, FO spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said: "The Indian MEA’s litany of baseless allegations is yet another attempt to malign Pakistan and [is] a part of desperate efforts to divert attention from India’s state terrorism in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

"The BJP government must realise that its irresponsible policies and unilateral actions are increasingly imperiling peace and security in the region. India must act responsibly in the interest of regional peace and stability."

Earlier today, NDTV reported that the staffers were "forcibly abducted [...] kept in illegal custody for more than 10 hours".

Quoting a statement from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, the report said the two staff members had been "subjected to interrogation, torture and physical assault, resulting in grievous injuries".

"They were video-graphed and coerced to accept a litany of fictitious allegations and concocted charges. The vehicle of the High Commission, in which they were travelling, was extensively damaged," it added.

Responding to the statement, the FO spokesperson said that the two officials — identified as Dwimu Brahma and Selvadas Paul — were speeding and subsequently crashed into a pedestrian on June 15.

"The pedestrian was seriously injured and taken to the hospital for treatment. The officials attempted to flee from the scene, however, some passersby who witnessed the incident stopped them from fleeing and informed the police," the statement said.

"During the course of the investigation, fake currency was also recovered from the aforementioned officials. After it was confirmed that the said officials were from the Indian High Commission, they were released and handed over to a senior diplomat from the [commission].

"The senior Indian diplomat was reminded that possession of fake currency and 'hit-and-run' after an incident are serious offences. Such illegal actions and reckless conduct by officials of the Indian High Commission are against the law and established diplomatic norms.

"He was also reminded of the Indian High Commission’s obligations to ensure that its members did not engage in illegal activities and adhered to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961."

Road accident triggers India-Pakistan spat

According to the first information report (FIR) registered with the Secretariat Police Station, the two officials, who were driving to the high commission in a dark-coloured car early in the morning, had hit a pedestrian attempting to cross the road.

The pedestrian, who was not identified in the report, was seriously injured and shifted to the Poly Clinic hospital by passersby, the police said.

The two persons in the car, police said, tried to flee after the accident on Khayaban-i-Suhrawardy, but were stopped by people who had gathered at the scene.

They were handed over to the police and were later shifted to the police station for interrogation. According to the FIR, fake currency notes worth Rs10,000 were also seized from them.

Both were booked by police for reckless driving, causing injury due to negligent driving, and possessing fake currency.