Security Up at Indian Embassy in Pakistan

Pakistan has tightened security at the Indian embassy in Islamabad following a 'note verbale' by New Delhi asking for greater security for the mission and its staff in view of Ajmal Kasab's hanging.

Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gopal Baglay met his counterpart in the Pakistan Foreign Office Zohra Akbari, DG, South Asia, a day before the hanging of the lone surviving terrorist who carried out the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 and gave the 'note verbale'.

"There was a possibility of some disturbance in that country due to the hanging, so New Delhi asked for additional security for its mission and the staff," official sources in New Delhi said, adding that it also had a small reference to Kasab's hanging.

Diplomatic sources in Islamabad said security measures at the Indian High Commission, which are already very extensive, had been further tightened.

Taliban today threatened to target Indians "anywhere" in retaliation for the execution of Kasab.

Indian diplomats in Pakistan have faced threats in the past too.

In 2010, two deserters from a paramilitary force arrested for terror links had revealed that militants aligned with the Pakistani Taliban had plans to abduct Indian diplomats and target foreign missions.

The men had revealed that militant groups had plans to kidnap Indian diplomats, including the High Commissioner, to exchange them for militant commanders being held by Pakistani authorities.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jillani said his country is "not aware" of any threat from the local Taliban to Indians following the execution of Kasab though the level of security provided to all members of the diplomatic community is adequate,

"I am not aware of the threats that you are referring to but as far as we are concerned, our position on the issue of terrorism has been made consistent - we have condemned terrorism in Pakistan or in any part of the world as something that is unacceptable," Jillani told a news conference when he was asked about the Pakistani Taliban's threat to Indians.

"As far as the question of security is concerned, the government of Pakistan is doing everything despite all the challenges to provide security not only to our own people but also the members of the diplomatic community," he added.

Jillani, who was briefing the media about the Developing Eight Summit that began in Islamabad this afternoon, said the security arrangements in the federal capital were satisfactory.

"As far as Islamabad is concerned, (security) is quite satisfactory and we didn't have to take any extra steps. I am not aware of any particular demand (for security)," he said in response to a question about India's demand for its diplomats in the Pakistani capital.

"I can tell you that we haven't received any complaint from any member of the diplomatic community (regarding security arrangements," he said.

In response to another question, Jillani said Pakistan was informed in advance about Kasab's hanging.

"We were informed of the execution of Ajmal Kasab the day before he was executed," he said.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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