New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: India on Monday summoned the Pakistan envoy and lodged a strong protest to him over the arrest of two officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad for their alleged involvement in a "hit and run accident".

Asking Pakistan to return the two officials along with the official car to the High Commission immediately, India has issued a demarche Pakistan's Charge d'affaires and said that there should be "no interrogation or harassment of the Indian officials".

"The demarche to Pakistan's Charge d'affaires made clear that there should be no interrogation or harassment of the Indian officials. The responsibility for the safety and security of the concerned diplomatic personnel lay squarely with the Pakistani authorities," news agency ANI quoted government sources as saying.

Meanwhile, an NDTV report has suggested that the two officials are in the custody of the Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

The Indian officials went missing on Monday morning following which India took up the matter with the Pakistan Foreign Office. The officials went out of the High Commission in a vehicle for official duty at around 8:30 Am (IST), but did not reach their destination.

The incident comes two weeks after India expelled two Pakistan High Commission officials here on charges of espionage.

India had declared Abid Hussain and Muhammad Tahir as 'persona non grata' after they were found obtaining sensitive documents relating to movement of Indian Army troops from an Indian national, according to authorities here.

Following their expulsion, Pakistani agencies started harassing a number of Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad including charge d'affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia.

Ahluwalia's car was aggressively tailed by Pakistani agencies on at least two occasions following which India lodged a strong protest with the Pakistan Foreign Office.

After the expulsion of the two Pakistani officials, it was expected that Pakistan would also resort to a tit-for-tat response, going by similar episodes in the past.

India's expulsion of the two Pakistani officials and subsequent harassment of Indian High Commission staffers in Islamabad by Pakistani agencies came in the midst of frayed ties between the two countries over the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir by India.

Pakistan had downgraded diplomatic ties by expelling the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad following India's decision to withdraw special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August last year. 

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma