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Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi asked to cut staff strength by half

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 23, 2020 Published on June 23, 2020

Move follows concern over some Pakistani officials engaging in espionage, dealings with terrorists

India has asked Pakistan to reduce by half its staff strength in the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi as it was concerned about some officials engaging in espionage and maintaining dealings with terrorist organisations.

New Delhi, too, would reciprocally reduce its own presence in Islamabad to the same proportion, according to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs circulated on Tuesday.

“This decision, which is to be implemented in seven days, was conveyed to the Pakistani Charge d’Affaires,” the release said.

The Charge d’ Affaires of Pakistan was summoned on Tuesday to the MEA and informed that India had repeatedly expressed concern about the activities of officials of his High Commission. “They have been engaged in acts of espionage and maintained dealings with terrorist organisations. The activities of the two officials caught red-handed and expelled on May 2020 was one example in that regard,” the MEA told the Charge d’ Affaires.

Pakistan was also criticised for engaging in a sustained campaign to intimidate the officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad from carrying out 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 release stated.

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Published on June 23, 2020
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