By the Way

Basit’s travel woes

It is learnt that Home Ministry officials are worried about the security and well-being of the High Commissioner of Pakistan, Abdul Basit. The issue is so serious that they may have to take immediate steps. Basit has had a strained relationship with India. Sources disclosed that keeping in mind the security threat, Basit is allowed to travel in a bullet-proof Mercedes-Benz provided by the Government of Pakistan.

Generally, Mercedes-Benz has a reputation that if it is maintained properly, it seldom breaks down. But Basit’s Merc is out of action and needs major repairs. As per information available from North Block, Basit sent the car for repair to the authorised workshop of Mercedes-Benz. The car was examined and an estimate of `20 lakh was suggested to Basit’s office. The High Commission officials and Basit were flabbergasted. The High Commission was in no mood to pay the cost of the repair and the Mercedes-Benz has since been sent back to Pakistan. Basit is now travelling without a bullet-proof car in Delhi. Home Ministry officials are, therefore, discussing whether to provide such a car to Basit or not. The logic given by some MHA officials is that providing a bullet-proof vehicle is the responsibility of Pakistan, and not India.

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