Pakistan summons Indian Deputy High Commissioner,lodges protest

'Ranjan Mathai explained to his counterpart that this was a traffic accident,'

Written by PTI | Islamabad | Published: June 4, 2013 10:22:02 pm

Pakistan’s Foreign Office today called in the Indian Deputy High Commissioner to protest against the road-rage incident involving a Pakistani diplomat and his driver in New Delhi.

The Foreign Office conveyed its “serious concerns” to Deputy High Commissioner Gopal Baglay over yesterday’s incident in Delhi in which First Secretary Zirgham Raza and his driver Haider Zaman were allegedly “physically abused”.

The Indian diplomat was “informed that such incidents are uncalled for,unnecessary and do not augur well for the overall bilateral relations,especially at a time when the leadership of the two countries is desirous of improving and normalizing relations”,said a statement from Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

The statement said the Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai had called his Pakistani counterpart earlier today to “express his regrets over this unfortunate incident and assured him that the matter would be thoroughly investigated”.

However,Ministry of External Affairs sources said in New Delhi that no regret was expressed as it was a matter of an accident.

“Ranjan Mathai explained to his counterpart that this was a traffic accident,” a source said adding the call was made because the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan was in New Delhi and the Pakistani High Commissioner to India was in his country.

The statement quoted the Indian Foreign Secretary as saying that two persons involved in the incident had been arrested and an FIR had been lodged.

“While noting the actions being taken by the Government of India in resolving this matter,the Government of Pakistan calls upon it to ensure that such incidents do not recur and reminds the Indian Government of its obligation under diplomatic conventions and norms of providing adequate safety and security of all Pakistan High Commission personnel,premises and vehicles,” the statement by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said.

Pakistan has alleged that the diplomat and his driver were assaulted by a group of people in New Delhi.

However,the Indian government today said police had responded promptly and extended due courtesies to the Pakistani diplomat,who along with his driver was allegedly roughed up after their vehicle hit a motorcycle in South Delhi.

Zirgham Raza,Pakistan First Secretary (Trade) suffered “minor bruises” in a brawl when his car and a motorcycle were involved in a “freak accident” in Ber Serai at around 7.25 PM yesterday when he was returning to his Vasant Kunj home.

“Police responded promptly to calls for assistance and escorted the diplomats to safety from the crowd of onlookers who had gathered at the site of incident.

“The police extended the Pakistan High Commission officials due courtesies and escorted them to the AIIMS trauma centre and offered medical assistance and examination,” official spokesperson in the MEA said.

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