ISLAMABAD - City police on Tuesday held two diplomats of Netherlands Embassy and recovered unlicensed arms and ammunition from their vehicle.
The diplomats were later released, besides their weapons, on the intervention of top diplomatic officials from Netherlands and the US Embassy, sources told The Nation.
According to details, Police officials deputed at Police picket near Secretariat Chowk intercepted a Dark Blue BMW (4191) at 11.30 am. The car did not have diplomatic number plates.
On search, police recovered sophisticated weapons including four hand grenades including two smoke equipments and two flash bombs, two handguns, four magazines and six bullet-proof vests from their vehicle.
This arms and ammunition reportedly belonged to the US embassy and was being transported to the US Embassy by the Dutch, the sources said.
The detained diplomats could not provide any justification and relevant documents for keeping such sophisticated weapons to the police, the sources added.
They had only a letter issued by the Dutch Embassy on which Ministry of Interior was requested to issue licence, the sources said.
Police sources told the TheNation, There was another vehicle bearing registration (IDL-266) which was allegedly backing up the Dutch diplomats BMW.
When we intercepted the Dutch vehicle the driver of a car behind them, identified himself as US Embassy employee named Sunny Christopher, having US Embassys official card (16570), the sources said.
Christopher interfered in the police matter, but after an exchange of harsh words the police sent him on his way. But before he left he had harassed the police to the extent that they were forced to make a misstatement in the report to the effect that he came after the release of the two Dutch men. The fact, as this scribe witnessed himself, later corroborated by the SHO, was that Christopher was present throughout the process of search and arrest.
Secretariat police also mentioned intervention by Christopher in the report of the case. The report said the person who identified himself as US Embassy official namely Sunny Christopher interfered in police matter. (See copy of report)
After the intervention of top diplomatic officials including those from the US, the arrested diplomats were allowed to leave with their belongings under cover of diplomatic immunity.
The arrested Dutch were identified as Tom Smith and Williem Uen.
When contacted, Spokesman of American Embassy, Rick Snelsire, he said, Honestly saying I heard todays incident but I have no more information regarding the alleged involvement of US Embassy.
When asked, who is Sunny Christopher? He said, I dont know about Sunny. When this correspondent told him about Sunnys Embassy card number (16570), he said, There are hundreds of US embassy employees and it would be difficult for me to identify them all by the card number, he added.
Given the tension over Dyncorp and Inter-Risk and un-licensed arms being exchanged between Pakistani Security companies and US embassy, some serious questions arise from this latest incident: One, Why were Dutch diplomats carrying unlicensed arms for the US embassy? Two, why was a Pakistani employee of US embassy escorting these diplomats from behind?
Three, why were the Dutch diplomats not in a car with a diplomatic number plate?
Four, were these two gentlemen really Dutch diplomats to begin with?