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2 Indian mission staffers detained by Pakistani agencies return via Wagah

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The two staff members of the Indian high commission in Islamabad who were detained by Pakistani security agencies last week returned via the Wagah-Attari land border crossing on Monday, people familiar with developments said.

India had summoned Pakistan’s chargé d’affaires to the external affairs ministry last week to protest against the “abduction and torture” of the two junior staff members in Islamabad on June 15.

The two men were held for alleged involvement in a road accident. The complaint filed against them by Islamabad Police had accused them of rash driving and possessing fake Pakistani currency but theses charge were denied by New Delhi.

Pakistani security agencies had detained the staff members and held them for almost 12 hours, releasing them after Pakistani charge d’affaires Syed Haider Shah was summoned to the external affairs ministry for lodging a strong protest.

An official statement issued last week had said the two staff members of the Indian mission were “forcibly abducted by Pakistani agencies…and kept in illegal custody for more than 10 hours” and also “subjected to interrogation, torture and physical assault”.

It is believed the two men were withdrawn from Islamabad.

Meanwhile, the Indian high commission in Islamabad has announced it will facilitate the return of 748 Indian nationals from Pakistan via the Wagah-Attari land border during June 25-27.

A total of 250 Indian nationals will return on June 25 while another 250 will return the following day. The remaining Indian national will be repatriated via the land border crossing on June 27, according to a notification posted on the mission’s website.

The Indian nationals being repatriated were asked to make arrangements to reach the Wagah-Attari border crossing.

Hundreds of Indians, most of them students or people visiting relatives, were stranded in Pakistan after the Indian government imposed travel restrictions in March to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the absence of flights between the two countries, many people had asked to be allowed to cross over via the land border crossing.


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