Thursday April 25, 2024

FO 'looking into' Indian professor's claims against high commission staffer

There is "zero tolerance" for misbehaviour and mistreatment of individuals visiting our missions, says FO

By Web Desk
January 13, 2023
Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch. — Facebook/File
Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch. — Facebook/File

The Foreign Office Friday said it was looking into the allegations levelled by an Indian professor that the Pakistan High Commission was asking her uncomfortable questions. 

Questioning the timing and the manner in which the issue was raised, FO spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said: "We attach high importance to proper etiquette and behaviour towards all visa and consular applicants. All our diplomatic staff is under strict instructions to conduct themselves professionally." 

“There are robust mechanisms in place for redressal of all public grievances. There is zero tolerance for misbehaviour and mistreatment of individuals visiting our missions,” said Baloch.

According to India Today, a senior professor at a university in India's Punjab had claimed that she was asked uncomfortable questions when she visited the office to apply for the visa. 

The publication said that the professor was asked about the purpose of her visit to Lahore by an official during the appointment. It added that the official had responded: “I wish to visit Lahore to photograph the monuments and write on them and also visit a university where I was invited to deliver a lecture.”

However, the professor claimed that when she was about to leave, another employee arrived and allegedly started asking her uncomfortable personal questions.

“He asked me why I wasn’t married. How do I live without marriage, what do I do for my sexual desires,” the woman was quoted by India Today as saying.

The professor told the publication that the official continued with his questions despite her trying to change the topic.

India Today also said that the professor had also written a letter to India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar.