India has registered its strong protest with Pakistan after a drone was seen over the Indian High Commission compound in Islamabad, media reports said. The incident comes days after a twin drone strike on the Jammu Air Force station left a gaping hole in a room within the compound, leaving two IAF personnel injured.
The sighting of the drone over the Indian High Commission was reported on June 26 and was meant to monitor an event, ANI reported. The incident has been taken as a major security breach of the diplomatic compound. The Indian High Commission is located within the fortified diplomatic enclave in Islamabad, across a road in front of Pakistan’s Foreign Office. A residential complex for staffers of the mission is located near the high commission. The entire diplomatic enclave is heavily guarded by Pakistani forces.
The technology used in June 27 drone strikes on the IAF base indicated “state support” and the involvement of Pakistan-based terror groups Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, Lieutenant General DP Pandey, Corps Commander of the 15 Corps in Srinagar, said on Wednesday (June 30).
The security breach is likely to further worsen the diplomatic relations between the two countries, which are in a deep freeze after the Centre scrapped the special status of J&K in 2019. Hopes of reconciliation began early this year following a ceasefire understanding between the two armies.
In recent years Pakistan has been using drones to drop weapons across the border. The Border Security Force (BSF) has frequently reported drone sightings and has shot down some in the last few months.
In 2019 a crashed drone was found in a village in Punjab’s Amritsar. The following month, terrorists arrested by security forces allegedly revealed drugs and weapons had been dropped in the state over eight separate drone flights.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had raised the issue of drones being used by terrorists at the recent meeting of NSAs of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Doval had specifically referred to the need to monitor new technologies used by terrorists, including drones for weapons’ smuggling.