2 Indian HC officials held, released after hit-and-run


By Asghar Ali Mubarak

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Police said in a statement issued Monday the two Indian High Commission officials arrested earlier today in the federal capital over a hit-and-run incident have been released.
Police said both Indian officials were released due to their diplomatic immunity and had been handed over in the presence of Pakistani ministry’s officials.
A case had earlier been filed against the two Indian officers for running over and critically injuring a man before allegedly trying to flee from the site of the accident. Both were taken into custody and a first information report (FIR) was registered against them in the Secretariat Police Station, with charges of negligence, reckless driving, and overspeeding. The FIR stated that counterfeit currency worth Rs10,000 recovered was also recovered from the two Indian officials.
Earlier today, Islamabad Police had arrested the two Indian officials for attempting to flee after running over a man and critically injuring him. Eyewitnesses explained that a BMW vehicle hit a pedestrian who was walking on the Embassy Road at around 8am and attempted to flee.
The pedestrian was critically injured and shifted to a hospital for treatment. A huge crowd of people stopped the car and handed over the two men to Islamabad Police.
After they were arrested, police discovered that they were officials of the Indian High Commission.
Eyewitnesses said the car was being driven irresponsibly and had gotten out of control due to overspeeding. The victim was walking on the footpath at the road when he was run over by the car.
Indian English daily, the Times of India, featured a report earlier today, stating that two officials of the Indian High Commission ‘had gone missing’ in Islamabad.
“The officials were out for an official work before they went missing. The Indian government has taken up the matter with Pakistani authorities,” said the report. Last month, India declared two officials of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi “persona non grata requiring them to leave India within 24 hours” alleging that they had been found guilty of espionage. Pakistan had condemned the Indian government’s decision to expel the staff members as part of a “persistent anti-Pakistan propaganda”.
Islamabad had said that the two staff members of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi were “lifted by the Indian authorities today (31 May 2020) on false and unsubstantiated charges”. They were subsequently released after the Pakistan High Commission intervened. “We condemn the detention and torture as well as threatening and pressuring of the diplomatic officials to accept false charges,” the Foreign Office had said.