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Pakistan Briefly Detains Two Indian Embassy Employees

A protest to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day, in Lahore, on February 5. India and Pakistan have seen renewed tensions over Kashmir.

Pakistani police briefly detained two employees of the Indian Embassy in Islamabad after their car hit and injured a pedestrian the previous day, officials said on June 16.

According to two Pakistani security officials, the two men were detained as they tried to flee after the road incident. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Police said the two employees of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan did not have diplomatic status, which would protect them from arrest and prosecution. The two, both Indian nationals, were later released and there was no comment from Pakistan or India over the incident.

However, Indian media reported that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on on June 15 summoned a Pakistani diplomat in New Delhi to lodge a protest over the arrest.

Pakistan and India routinely expel each other’s diplomats on spying charges. Earlier in June, India expelled two Pakistani Embassy officials after detaining them on spying charges.

Relations between Pakistan and India deteriorated further after India downgraded the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir from statehood to a federally administered territory in August last year and limited its decision-making power.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over control of Kashmir since they won independence from British colonialists in 1947. Kashmir is divided between the two neighbors and claimed by both in its entirety.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgent groups fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan. Islamabad denies the charge and says it only provides moral and diplomatic support to them.