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Press Release on abduction of an Indian High Commission official in Islamabad by Pakistan

New Delhi
January 19, 2000

The Government of India have categorically and unequivocally rejected the allegations that have been made by the Government of Pakistan against Mr. P. Moses, a member of the High Commission of India in Islamabad. The Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs today and told that these allegations were as fanciful and far-fetched as the so-called evidence in their support was concocted and baseless. It was pointed out to him that Pakistan's actions were part of its propaganda campaign directed at covering its own involvement in cross-border terrorism and blurring its own track record.

The Ministry again strongly condemned the abhorrent behavior of the Pakistani authorities in extracting so-called confessions under duress from Mr. P. Moses, threatening his personal safety and that of his wife and family, subjecting him to physical and mental ill-treatment and parading him in front of the media. These actions are contrary to all norms and conventions of diplomatic interaction, especially those contained in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Bilateral code of Conduct between India and Pakistan on the Treatment of Diplomatic and consular Personnel.

The Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner was informed that the Ministry deplored the fact that the Pakistan Government did not consider it necessary to inform the High Commission of India in Islamabad even after the identity of Mr. Moses had been established and that the Pakistan police refused to register an FIR as was sought to be done by the High Commission. Absurd allegations were made of Mr. Moses wanting to hand over obviously planted items to an unidentified person. The fact that Mr. Moses was not even questioned about this person or his alleged accomplices in the High Commission indicates that the charges by the Pakistani authorities were spurious and the entire event was a transparent frame-up. It was obvious that this was yet another incident in the pattern of harassment and intimidation by Pakistani authorities against members of the Indian High Commission and was grossly violative of its international and bilateral obligations.

The Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner was told that it was ironical that Pakistan, a state known to be sponsoring international terrorism was seeking to make baseless allegations about India. He was reminded of the concerns that had been expressed publicly by the Government of India regarding Pakistan's role as a state sponsor of terrorism in India in the State of Jammu & Kashmir and elsewhere. These concerns had been expressed on numerous occasions to the government of Pakistan. During the talks held between the Home Secretary of India and the Interior Secretary of Pakistan in New Delhi on November 12, 1998, the Government of India had handed over extensive evidence to Pakistan, which pointed to the existence of a vast infrastructure on Pakistani territory for the purpose of recruiting, indoctrinating, training, arming, financing and infiltrating terrorists into India. All these actions are carried out with the full knowledge and complicity of the Government and other official agencies of Pakistan. The Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner was told that the Government of India strongly condemned such policies and demanded that action be taken to dismantle the entire infrastructure that exists on Pakistani territory for this purpose.

The Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner was also reminded of the note that had been handed over on January 15, 2000 to the High Commissioner of Pakistan, wherein Pakistan was requested to honor its international obligations and apprehend and extradite the hijackers of the Indian Airlines aircraft IC-814 as also their accomplices, all of whom are believed to be in Pakistan. He was told that the Ministry would appreciate the cooperation of the Government of Pakistan in all the matters mentioned above.