ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Tuesday summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh and a strong protest was lodged at the maltreatment being meted out to the officials and their families of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, the foreign ministry said.

Singh was summoned by Director-General South Asia Dr Mohammed Faisal.

He emphasised that under the Vienna Convention, the safety and the security of Pakistani diplomats and their families was the responsibility of the Indian government.

“The total apathy and failure of the Indian government to put a halt to these despicable incidents, sparing not even young children, indicates both a lack of capacity to protect foreign diplomats posted in India or a more reprehensible, complicit unwillingness to do so,” said the statement quoting Faisal.

The statement added: “The officers, staff and more regrettably the families and children of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi continue to face intense harassment, intimidation and outright violence from the Indian state agencies. These have escalated exponentially in the last few days.”

This deliberate bullying, Faisal said, was not confined to a single isolated event, but continues unabated in a series of incidents, especially targeting the children of our officers and staff.

Faisal said on March 7 and 8, the children of the officers of the mission were harassed, while returning from school.

“Their cars were stopped by unknown persons who threatened the children and filmed them. The protest lodged by our high commissioner with the Indian foreign secretary, instead of ameliorating the situation, was followed by further harassment of the officers of the High Commission, stoppage of provision of gas to the High Commission Residential Complex and threatening of contractors/staff working in the High Commission,” he added.

On March 9, Faisal said, the car of the Naval Adviser was aggressively chased.

“On the same day, Counsellor Political was forcibly evicted from a cab and harassed by unknown persons, who used abusive language, threatened him and filmed the whole incident with impunity,” he said.

Faisal said on March 12, the technicians working at the Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi were threatened and stopped from working.  The same evening our first secretary was aggressively followed when he left work for his residence.

On March 13, he said, the car carrying the school-going children of our counsellor, who were returning from school, was followed by unidentified persons on cars and motorcycles, who harassed, intimidated them and their vehicle was blocked.

“For psychological intimidation, videos and photographs of the children were constantly made for 40 minutes, leaving the children extremely traumatised. They were followed up to their residence,” Faisal said.

He said the drivers of the High Commission were forcibly halted, and their mobile phones aggressively switched off to prevent them from contacting anyone.

“All these incidents continue unabated despite repeated official protests lodged with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs at the highest level, providing specific details of the culprit’s vehicles. Our high commission has also shared photographs identifying the individuals, who forcibly halted and took pictures of the officer,” he said.