'Stupid tit-for-tat diplomacy': Omar Abdullah flays harassment of guests at iftar hosted by Indian High Commission in Islamabad

Omar Abdullah made the statement after guests invited to the Indian High Commission's iftar faced 'unprecedented harassment' by Pakistani security officials.

Press Trust of India June 02, 2019 15:58:02 IST
'Stupid tit-for-tat diplomacy': Omar Abdullah flays harassment of guests at iftar hosted by Indian High Commission in Islamabad
  • Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria hosted the annual event at Serena Hotel for which guests were invited from all over Pakistan

  • Guests invited to the iftar faced 'unprecedented level of harassment' due to enhanced security checks by the Pakistani officials

  • A journalist said he saw more than usual security presence, but those having invitation cards and identity documents were allowed to attend

Srinagar: National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah Sunday said the harassment of guests at an iftar party hosted by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad was "stupid tit-for-tat diplomacy".

“Stupid tit-for-tat diplomacy. It was stupid when we did it outside the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi & it's stupid when it's done outside our's in Islamabad. Now that it's 1-1, perhaps it's time to move on & stop this nonsense,” Omar wrote on Twitter.

Guests invited to the Indian High Commission's Iftar party in Islamabad on Saturday evening faced "unprecedented level of harassment" due to enhanced security checks by the Pakistani officials who stopped some invitees on one pretext or other.

Stupid titfortat diplomacy Omar Abdullah flays harassment of guests at iftar hosted by Indian High Commission in Islamabad

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah. PTI

Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria hosted the annual event at Serena Hotel for which guests were invited from all over Pakistan. Those attending the event said that additional security deployment was made around the luxury hotel.

A journalist said he saw more than usual security presence, but those having invitation cards and identity documents were allowed to attend. "My invitation card was checked and I was asked questions about profession and residence, and allowed to go in," he said.

"Unprecedented level of harassment at @serena_hotels Islamabad. #India embassy iftaar happening & police & anti terrorism force misbehaving with anyone trying into get in the hotel. Got screamed at, my driver abused. Sorry, not being an entitled prick. This was genuine harassment," tweeted noted journalist Mehreen Zahra-Malik.

Another journalist, on condition of anonymity, said he did not attend as he feared about questioning and security checks. He also said there were reports that some invitees were called by anonymous callers and told not to attend the event.

Senior Pakistan People's Party leader Farhatullah Babar said that every gaze deflected towards odd visitors in hotel's lobby.

"Came to Serena for iftar hosted by Indian HC. Hotel seems barricaded. Told that iftar cancelled. When insisted, I was told to use other gate. Other gate also closed and told to go back to front gate again. What's going on, something fishy," he tweeted.

Babar said that he somehow managed to attend the Indian mission's iftar despite efforts by the local authorities to stop invitees on one pretext or other.

High Commissioner Bisaria in his brief address to the audience said that some of the guests could not make to the party.

Bisaria also said that people had come from Lahore and Karachi to attend the event and thanked them for attending.

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