New Delhi: Guests attending an Iftar party hosted by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad were intimidated and “aggressively” turned away from the venue by Pakistani officials on Saturday evening, media reports quoting a senior Indian diplomat said.
Pakistani officials surrounded Hotel Serena, the venue of the Iftar party, and harassed hundreds of guests who had come to attend the function, news reports said on Sunday. Many of the guests were forced to leave the venue, ANI news agency reported quoting an unnamed source.
India’s High Commisioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria slammed the Pakistani authorities for the intimidatory action that he said were counter-productive. “They not only violate basic norms of diplomatic conduct and civilised behaviour, they are counter-productive for our bilateral relations,” he was quoted as saying.
Some Pakistani officials also called the invitees from masked numbers and threatened them not to attend the Iftar, ANI reported.
“We apologise to all our guests who were aggressively turned away from our Iftar. Such intimidatory tactics are deeply disappointing,” Bisaria said.
This is not the first time that Indian officials had faced harassment in the neighbouring country. Last month, India had raised concerns after two diplomats who were facilitating the arrangements of Sikh pilgrims at Gurdwara Sacha Sauda Gurdwara near Lahore were locked up in a room for twenty ministers. The diplomats were threatened and asked never come to the area again.
Earlier this week, the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi had also hosted an Iftar dinner, that was attended by Indian guests.