India issued a demarche to Pakistan in late April after two of New Delhi’s diplomats were allegedly locked up, searched, and threatened at a Sikh shrine, called Gurdwara, near Lahore, the Indian outlet The Wire reports. According to The Times of India, New Delhi has also expressed concerns about its High Commission in the Pakistani capital.
The incident is said to have taken place on 17 April when the two were at the Gurdwara Sacha Sauda Sahib in Farooqabad on consular duties, providing assistance to Sikh pilgrims from India.
The outlet cites sources saying that 15 Pakistani intelligence agents apprehended the diplomats, checked their bags and questioned the Indians, locking them in a room in the Gurdwara for 20 minutes and inquiring about their work in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. After releasing them, the Pakistanis also forbade the Indian representatives to visit the area or speak to pilgrims.
“They were asked to not enter shrine again", sources said as quoted by the outlet.
According to The Wire, the Indian diplomats had faced harassment there last November when they were stopped from meeting pilgrims at the Gurdwara Sacha Sauda Sahib.
The two nuclear-armed neighbours have been in a row over over Kashmir for decades, exchanging accusations and hostile acts since mid-February. The tensions escalated after the 14 February Pulwama terrorist attack in which at least 40 Indian security personnel were killed. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Pakistan-based terrorist group, reportedly claimed responsibility for it with the Indian government accusing Islamabad of harbouring and sponsoring the Islamist terrorist outfit, a charge that Pakistan has flatly denied.
India carried out an airstrike on alleged terrorist infrastructure targets within Pakistani territory. Pakistan retaliated by conducting airstrikes targeting Indian territory and in an ensuing dogfight, reportedly downed two Indian aircraft.