Pakistan

North Korean diplomat, wife allegedly beaten by excise officials in Karachi

KARACHI: North Korea’s embassy in Pakistan has accused the country’s tax authorities of assaulting a diplomat and his wife, claiming armed officials broke into their Karachi home last month and held guns to their heads.

After the incident came to light, the Sindh government on Thursday formed an investigation team on a complaint filed by North Korea’s embassy in Islamabad that some officials of the department had allegedly assaulted a senior diplomat of the country and his wife in Karachi.

Reports said that the team would begin its investigation on Friday after meeting the victim couple.

It is reported that the complainant had claimed to have CCTV (closed circuit television cameras) footage of the incident and they would show it to the investigators.

The image of the North Korean diplomat in Karachi is published by VOA Korean Service. Though it could not be independently verified.

AFP adds: The complainant said at least 10 armed men from the department burst into the diplomat’s Karachi home on April 9 and attacked him and his wife, dragging her by the hair and hitting them both in the face before aiming guns at the couple.

They also shot at photographs of the couple, the letter alleges.

The written complaint, seen by AFP and addressed to the chief of Pakistan’s Excise and Taxation department, demands action against the officials and warns the incident could seriously impact diplomatic relations.

“This is a very serious issue and we have set up a high-powered investigating team to probe into the allegations framed by the Korean embassy,” Shoaib Siddiqui, chief of the department told AFP.

The incident was recorded on closed circuit television cameras, the letter, dated April 27, claimed.

The diplomat’s role in Karachi is not known.

Pakistan and North Korea are infamously linked by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, who admitted in 2004 that he ran a nuclear black-market selling secrets to rogue clients including Pyongyang.

He later retracted his remarks and in 2009 was freed from house arrest, although he was asked to keep a low profile.

The two countries also share their main ally, China, which is funding a massive infrastructure project in Pakistan and which is the main provider of aid and trade to North Korea, despite being increasingly frustrated by Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

 

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