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Pak unleashes vengeance over 'arrested' driver?

Last updated on: April 01, 2011 19:17 IST

India and Pakistan were back to bickering on Friday with an Indian high commission official posted in Islamabad reported 'missing' and Pakistan protesting the brief 'arrest' of a driver in its mission in New Delhi.

However, as per latest reports, the 'missing' Indian high commission official was handed over to the Indian mission in Islamabad, sources said.

Pakistan on Friday claimed that a driver of its mission in New Delhi was 'arrested' for unspecified reasons earlier this week, a charge denied by Indian officials who said that he was briefly detained and handed over to the Pakistan high commission.

"A driver from the high commission was arrested. (He) has been released. We have protested," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua told PTI in Islamabad, without giving details.

However, sources in New Delhi said that on Wednesday evening a Pakistani high commission driver was seen near the Chandigarh cantonment area and when confronted, he tried to escape.

"In the process, he sustained some bruises/injury on his knee and back. He was questioned and thereafter released. Before being released, a medical check-up was conducted which showed him in good health," sources told PTI.

Just hours after the incident, an official in Indian high commission went 'missing' in Islamabad, sources said, adding there is no official confirmation on his whereabouts from Pakistan side.

However, the media reported detention of the Indian official, prompting Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to take up the matter with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir.

"Apart from Indian high commission raising the issue with Pakistan foreign ministry in Islamabad, the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi took up the issue with Pakistan high commission seeking the safety, security and well-being of the Indian official," sources said.

The foreign secretary has also spoken to Bashir regarding the matter. The incident involving the Pakistani driver occurred at a time when the prime ministers of India and Pakistan were in Mohali, holding "extremely positive" conversation on the sidelines of the pulsating cricket World Cup semi-final between the two countries.

The incident of the Indian official going 'missing' is being seen as a tit-for-tat to the Chandigarh incident.

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