Sexual harassment at Pak mission: MEA asks Pak to probe allegations

A woman academician from Punjab last week accused some officials in the visa section of the Pakistan High Commission of making lewd remarks and resorting to sexual harassment

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By: Urvashi Khona | NEW DELHI
Updated: 20 January, 2023 2:47 pm IST
Pakistan embassy in New Delhi

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on January 19 that it had taken serious note of the sexual complaint of a woman at the Pakistan High Commission. Ministry also says it has already raised its concerns with its Pakistani counterparts.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “India has asked Pakistan to investigate the alleged sexual harassment of an Indian woman inside the Pakistan High Commission premises in Delhi.”

The ministry has taken serious note of this complaint. We have raised the issue with Pakistani authorities, and we have asked them to investigate the matter. We have also seen in recent days a statement by the Pakistan Foreign Ministry saying that they are looking into the case,” Bagchi said.

A woman academician from Punjab last week accused some officials at the visa section of the Pakistan High Commission of making lewd remarks and resorting to sexual harassment. She has alleged that a Pakistani High Commissioner staffer demanded sexual favours in exchange for granting her a visa.

The woman had also written to External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, seeking strict action against the accused Pakistan embassy officers. The incident occurred in June 2021 in New Delhi amid the political turmoil in Pakistan and the instability in the government.

Talking about Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif’s offer to hold talks between the two countries to resolve outstanding issues such as Kashmir, Bagchi said, “We have also seen subsequent clarifications by the Pakistan PMO as well as comments by other Pakistani leaders in the recent past. I am not sure what you would like us to respond to. Let me reiterate that India’s position has remained clear and consistent – we desire normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in a conducive atmosphere that is free of terror, hostility and violence.”

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