NEW DELHI: India will raise the matter regarding harassment of guests invited at the Iftar organised by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, top government sources have confirmed to WION.
A number of guests who were invited by the Indian mission for Iftar at Islamabad's posh Serena hotel had to face considerable hardship as Pakistani security forces stopped them from attending the event. Some were physically manhandled, while others were simply told that the Iftar was cancelled. Overall the turnout was low at the Indian High Commission's Iftar, as many guests were forced to turn back by Pakistani security agencies.
Press secretary of the former Pakistani President Asif Zardari Farhatullah Babar who was also invited at the Iftar took to twitter and spoke about the harassment meted out.
He tweeted, "Came to Serena for iftar hosted by Indian HC. Hotel seems barricaded. Told that iftar cancelled. When insisted, I was told to use other gate. Other gate also closed and told to go back to front gate again. What’s going on, something fishy.
Came to Serena for iftar hosted by Indian HC. Hotel seems barricaded. Told that iftar cancelled. When insisted, I was told to use other gate. Other gate also closed and told to go back to front gate again. What’s going on, something fishy.
— Farhatullah Babar (@FarhatullahB) June 1, 2019
A Pakistani journalist Mehreen Zahra-Malik who was there to pick someone tweeted, "Unprecedented level of harassment at @serena_hotels Islamabad. #India embassy iftaar happening & police & anti terrorism force misbehaving with anyone trying into get in the hotel. Got screamed at, my driver abused."
WION's correspondent Anas Mallick who was also at Iftar party confirmed that he faced a lot of trouble while reaching to the venue. Before the Iftar, many invitees got calls asking not to attend Iftar.
The Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria speaking at the event said, "I would apologise to all our friends who were subject to extra scrutiny." Harassment of Indian diplomats has been a norm in Islamabad since months now. From cutting electricity to being aggressively followed has been reported with India sending a number of note verbale asking Pakistani foreign ministry to investigate the incidents.