02:44 GMT13 April 2021
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    The ever-tense ties between Islamabad and New Delhi became soured when, on 14 February, at least 40 Indian security personnel were killed in a terrorist attack in Pulwama, India.

    In a press release on Sunday, the Indian High Commission voiced its protest against what it described as Pakistan’s “gross intimidation of guests”, who were "turned away" from a June 1 Iftar party. Hosted by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, the Iftar party is one of the religious observances of Ramadan which includes the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast.

    “Guests felt unprecedented harassment and intimidation at the hands of the [Pakistani] security agencies,” the press release read, urging the Pakistani government to  investigate “these ugly events”.

    READ MORE: India to Bear the Brunt if Pakistan Retaliates to Trade Squeeze — Analys

    It was echoed by Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria, who extended apologies to all the guests who were “aggressively turned away from our Iftar yesterday”.

    “Such intimidation tactics are deeply disappointing. They not only violate basic norms of diplomatic conduct and civilised behaviour, they are counter-productive for our bilateral relations”, Bisaria underscored.

    Pakistani government sources, in turn, said that the 1 June incident “was completely an act of diplomatic reciprocity”.

    “We ignored what the Indian establishment did to our guests on 23 March, but we can't ignore it every time. We will raise the matter of Indian diplomats filming Pakistani security personnel, and issue a strong caution to the Indian High Commission to abide by the principles of Vienna convention as specified,” the sources added.

    READ MORE: Pakistan Warns India of Much 'Stronger Response' in Case of Fresh Conflict

    They also claimed that during the 23 March incident, out of the 73 guests, only 25 of them “could actually make it to the Iftar [event] in Delhi due to intimidation by Indian security agencies outside the Pakistani High Commission”.

    Sunday’s developments come amid tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad, which escalated after the 14 February Pulwama terrorist attack which left at least 40 Indian security personnel dead.

    Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Pakistan-based terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the attack and the Indian government accused Islamabad of harbouring and sponsoring the Islamist terrorist outfit, a charge which Pakistan has denied.

    READ MORE: India Promises ‘Firm Response to Any Provocation’ by Pakistan in Kashmir

    In retaliation, India conducted the 26 February airstrike on alleged terrorist infrastructure targets in Pakistani territory; it was followed by a dogfight between the two sides, in which they reportedly lost two combat aircraft each.

    India, however, confirmed the loss of only one of its warplanes, while Pakistan denied losing any of its fighter jets, emphasising that “despite claiming possession of evidence it [the Indian Air Force] shot down the [Pakistani] F-16, the IAF are still short of presenting it”.


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