The latest stand-off between India and Pakistan over the detention of a Pakistani trucker for possession of drugs looks set to worsen. India on Thursday declared that the truck driver would have to face the ‘full force’ of Indian law.
All cross-LoC trade and bus services have remained suspended since Pakistan retaliated after the detention of the trucker by impounding 27 Indian trucks.
The government said it is surprising that Pakistan had chosen to ignore important confidence-building measures (CBMs), especially on drug-trafficking.
“There is no modality that exempts a person alleged to be involved in a criminal activity from facing the full force of the Indian law,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.
“The spirit of confidence-building measures relating to trans-LoC (Line of Control) trade and travel is to bring about humanitarian benefits to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. And therefore to us, it is surprising that these confidence-building measures have been chosen by Pakistan to be held hostage for the sake of persons indulging in drug trafficking,” he said.
Pakistan has called the driver’s detention a violation of the agreed modalities and the spirit of the cross-LoC trade. It has demanded that the driver be immediately released and the material evidence along with the investigation report handed over for detailed probe and legal action by the Pakistani government.
On Tuesday, Pakistan’s acting high commissioner Mansoor Ahmad was summoned by the ministry of external affairs in connection with the stoppage of trans-LoC trade and bus services.
The MEA spokesperson also dismissed claims by a Pakistani official that the driver had diplomatic immunity, saying “there is no immunity that exempts a person in that category who is alleged to be involved in criminal activity”.