SHO Shalimar chargesheeted for raiding North Korean embassy

Published March 11, 2022
The North Korean embassy in Islamabad. — Reuters/File
The North Korean embassy in Islamabad. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The Shalimar police station house officer (SHO) has been chargesheeted for violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by raiding the embassy of Korea at F-10 on March 7, police said.

However, the embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea expressed serious regret over the raid in which officials of the police allegedly threatened the mission staff with guns when they tried to stop them from entering the premises in violation of the Vienna Convention, said the police.

The chargesheet was prepared by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mohammad Faisal.

According to the chargesheet, Sub-Inspector Tipu Sultan presently posted as the SHO Shalimar “is charged on grounds of inefficiency and misconduct.”

FO terms police action violation of diplomatic protocol

It added that the embassy of Korea in a letter on March 8 complained that “on March 7 at around 5pm you along with six other police officials, including a woman, raided the embassy through a back gate without their consent wherein the mission staff reminded you that the premises was the embassy exercising the inviolable sovereign territory of DPR Korea and asked to immediately stop this brutal act against the said embassy.”

It alleged in the letter that “the policemen ignored the request and searched the storeroom at the backyard on the pretext of finding some items and threatened the mission staff with guns who tried to stop their acts,” it said, adding in defiance of the warnings by the diplomatic staff, later they damaged the door and broke into the basement of the premises.”

The embassy expressed its serious regrets on the incident as the same is a violation of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

“The above act on your (SHO) part clearly shows your misconduct and sheer negligence and proves you to be an inefficient/negligence police officer as per Punjab Police (E&D) Rules 1975 and makes you accountable under the relevant rules.”

The additional superintendent of police (security and operations) has been asked to inquire the matter.

When contacted by Dawn, SHO Sultan said the raid was conducted in response to a tip about presence of huge quantity of liquor there. A search warrant was obtained from the concerned assistant commissioner, he added.

When told that the police station had all the details of important personalities and buildings in its limits, the SHO said the Shalimar police had no details about the premises and the police were not aware it was an embassy.

When contacted, Assistant Commissioner Shalimar, Mr Abdullah, denied that he had issued any search warrant to police for the raid. Neither the police requested him for the search warrant nor did he issue it, said the AC.

As per law, the police have to furnish details and the reason for a search warrant, the AC said, adding a subdivisional magistrate should also accompany the police during the search of any premises.

The capital police in a statement described the incident as misunderstanding.

The Shalimar police conducted the raid in response to information about huge quantity of liquor there, it added.

There was no sign of the embassy on the gate from where the police entered which resulted into the misunderstanding, the statement said, adding the police raiding team was called back after knowing that it was an embassy.

Police violated diplomatic norms: FO

Foreign Office spokesman Asim Iftikhar while talking to Dawn said the police had been told that their action was a “violation of the diplomatic protocol and that it should not be repeated.”

The embassy in a letter addressed to the police chief said it “strongly protests the unlawful entry into the premises of the DPR Korea Embassy by the Pakistani law enforcement police against the international Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”

The embassy blamed the raid on an unnamed “external force” harbouring “wicked intentions” to damage ties between the two countries.

Mr Iftikhar said police had been asked to investigate as to why the raid was conducted.

He explained that FO got involved when the raid was underway and the embassy reached out to it.

“The Protocol (Division of FO) immediately contacted the police and they pulled them to leave the premises of embassy, which they did,” he said, adding police were categorically told that they had no authority to enter the embassy.

“We have followed it and written letters to senior police officers,” the spokesman said.

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2022

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