India To Expel Half Of Pakistani Embassy Staff in Delhi
NEW DELHI : India has decided to expel half the staff in Pakistan’s Embassy in New Delhi, saying they have been engaged in “acts of espionage” and maintained contacts with “terrorist organizations.
“There was no immediate reaction from Pakistan.
Relations between the nuclear-armed rivals are strained and tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats are common. Neither country has a permanent ambassador in place.
India would cut staff in its own embassy in Islamabad by the same amount, the statement by India’s foreign ministry said. India will cut staff in its own embassy in Islamabad by the same amount, the Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on June 23.
It said the decisions, which are to be implemented in seven days, were conveyed to the Pakistani charge d’affaires in New Delhi.
India expelled two Pakistani diplomats on May 31 after they were held for alleged spying, claims Islamabad said were “baseless.”
In the last month, each country has accused the other of the illegal detention and ill-treatment of diplomats. The Pakistan Charge d’ Affaires was summoned and informed that India had repeatedly expressed concern about the activities of officials of his Pakistan High Commission. He was informed that the activities of the two officials, caught red-handed and expelled on May 31, 2020, was an example of espionage.
India said that while their officials indulged in actions that are not in conformity with their privileged status in the High Commission, Pakistan has in parallel engaged in a sustained campaign to intimidate the officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad from carrying on their legitimate diplomatic functions.
“The recent abduction at gunpoint of two Indian officials and their severe ill-treatment underlines the extent to which Pakistan has gone in that direction. These officials who have returned to India on June 22, 2020, have provided graphic details of the barbaric treatment that they experienced at the hands of Pakistani agencies,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated.
“The behavior of Pakistan and its officials is not in conformity with the Vienna Convention and bilateral agreements on the treatment of diplomatic and consular officials. On the contrary, it is an intrinsic element of a larger policy of supporting cross-border violence and terrorism,” the statement added.
(With Agency Inputs ).