It was a classic case of hit-and-run; two men driving early in the morning in Islamabad hit a pedestrian, then tried to flee. The police caught up with them and shifted them to the police station for interrogation. Ordinarily, they would be charged for reckless driving and causing injury. In this case however, this incident has become a diplomatic crisis and initiated another India-Pakistan spat. The two men seated in the car for the hit-and-run accident were Indians, employees of the Indian High Commission.

If these were nationals of any other country, this incident would cause some concerns but after effective communications between the countries, would smooth over. Unfortunately, we cannot expect India to respond maturely – it seems to be looking for opportunities to instigate fights with Pakistan. What was allegedly dishonourable conduct in Pakistani territory from two Indian High Commission employees, for which they were rightly interrogated by the police, has been twisted by the Indian narrative as a case of kidnapping, with the Ministry of External Affairs issuing a demarche to Pakistan’s Charge d’affaires to India.

India’s hostile response should have been expected but the true unfortunate impact this incident will have is on Pakistan’s diplomats who are posted in India currently. India has already retaliated with Delhi Indian security officials chasing Pakistani diplomats’ cars and police deployment was increased outside Pakistan’s High Commission on the pretext of security of the mission.

Pakistan had the jurisdiction to prosecute a crime committed under its territory – the police acted professionally and the Indian High Commission employees were released from custody after confirming their status from the Foreign Office. India exploiting this incident to harass Pakistani diplomats reflects its readiness for escalation of conflict and its ease with breaking international norms. If India is voted in as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, as it most likely will, it will be seen as an encouragement of such vile and vindictive behaviour.