Pakistan briefly detains 2 Indian Embassy employees

ISLAMABAD — Pakistani police briefly detained two employees of the Indian Embassy in the capital Islamabad after their car hit and injured a pedestrian the previous day, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The two men tried to flee but passersby who witnessed the incident stopped them and informed police, who rushed to the scene and took the two men into custody, Aisha Farooqui said in a statement.

Earlier, Islamabad 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 released Monday.

On Tuesday, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that it summoned a Pakistani diplomat in New Delhi to lodge a protest against the “abduction and torture" of the two men by Pakistani security agencies. It said the two men were “kept in illegal custody for more than 10 hours."

India said the two men were “video-graphed and coerced to accept a litany of fictitious allegations and concocted charges." It asked Pakistan to adhere to diplomatic norms.

Farooqui rejected the Indian allegations, calling the statement irresponsible. She said the two Indian embassy employees were involved in a “hit-and-run” incident and in possession of fake currency.

Farooqui identified the two men as Dwimu Brahma and Selvadas Paul and said they were speeding when they hit the pedestrian. The injured pedestrian was still in an Islamabad hospital Tuesday.

She said the two men were handed over to an Indian diplomat after confirming their identities.

Pakistan and neighboring 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.

___

Sharma reported from New Delhi, India.

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