Pak summons Indian diplomat over expulsion of 2 High Commission officials on espionage charges


Pakistan on Monday summoned a senior Indian diplomat to register a strong protest over India’s decision to expel two officials of its High Commission in New Delhi on charges of espionage. India on Sunday declared two officials of the Pakistan High Commission on charges of aspy “personality non grata”.


PTI , Updated: 01 June 2020, 10:47:49 am

Abid Hussain and Muhammad Tahir were caught by the Delhi Police while obtaining sensitive documents. (photo credit: News Nation)

Islamabad:

Pakistan on Monday summoned a senior Indian diplomat to register a strong protest over India’s decision to expel two officials of its High Commission in New Delhi on charges of espionage. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that India on Sunday declared two officials of the Pakistan High Commission on charges of espionage as “personless persons” and ordered them to leave the country within 24 hours. Official sources said in New Delhi that two officers, Abid Hussain and Muhammad Tahir, were apprehended by the Delhi Police when they were receiving sensitive documents related to security establishments in India from an Indian national in exchange for money.

In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “Government has declared both these officials as persona non grata for indulging in activities inconsistent with their status as members of a diplomatic mission and asked them to leave the country within 24 hours.” ” Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) said early on Monday that the Indian charge d’affaires had been called for a “strong demarcation”, with Pakistan declaring and rejecting two officials of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi as non Greta personalities. The decision was condemned. All the “baseless” allegations against him.

The FO said that Pakistan also pointed out that the Indian action was a “clear violation” of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Diplomatic Norms. Earlier, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that two staff members of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi were removed by Indian authorities on May 31 on “false and baseless allegations”. It said the action was “clearly aimed” at reducing the diplomatic space for the functioning of the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi. The statement said, “Pakistan strongly rejects the baseless Indian allegations and condemns the Indian action which is a clear violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations as well as norms of diplomatic conduct, especially in an already poor environment.” Is.”

However, both the officers were released on the intervention of the High Commission. Official sources in New Delhi said officials working in the visa section of the Pakistani High Commission, during interrogation, confessed that they worked for the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI. The punitive action against the two officials came amid worsening relations between the two countries over the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir by India. Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties in August last year by expelling the Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad following India’s decision to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcate the state into two union territories.

Pakistan and India were on the brink of war in 2019 after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack that killed dozens of CRPF personnel and prompted India to launch air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan. On 26 February, Indian fighter jets penetrated deep inside Pakistan and bombed Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps in Balakot. This was the first time that Indian jets entered Pakistan to drop bombs since the 1971 war. The airstrikes were followed by an air battle between the air forces of the two countries on February 27 when Pakistani jets entered India.

The MEA said that a strong protest was lodged with the Charge de Affairs of the Pakistan High Commission over the activities of two of its officials against India’s national security. Sources said that the two officials are handing over Indian money and an iPhone to them for providing sensitive documents. Sources said that they initially claimed that they were Indian citizens and even created fake Aadhaar cards.


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First published: 01 June 2020, 10:47:49 am



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