Pakistan considering withdrawing four officials from India
The development is being seen as a response to New Delhi expelling Islamabad's diplomat Mehmood Akhtar, who was accused of espionage.
Pakistan is considering withdrawing four of its officials from its High Commission office in India after New Delhi allegedly listed them as Inter-Services Intelligence personnel, Dawn reported. The development is being observed as a response to India expelling Islamabad's diplomat Mehmood Akhtar after declaring him "persona non-grata" (an unacceptable or unwelcome person) for espionage activities.
Pakistan had responded to the development by ordering Indian diplomat Surjeet Singh to leave the country. They had declared him persona non-grata, which India claimed was unjustified.
Islamabad's foreign office official said, "This is under consideration. A final decision would be taken shortly," the Pakistani daily reported. The Dawn report said India's listing of the Pakistani officials names has compromised their security. An unnamed official said the son of one of the listed officers had to be taken home from school after he was "ridiculed" by his classmates following the disclosure.
According to Dawn, Akhtar, now in Islamabad, said, “They [Indian officials] took me to a police station where I was forced to read out a written statement provided, which included the names of the four officers. I was told to state that they belonged to Pakistan’s intelligence services.”
The four officials on the list include commercial counsellor Syed Furrukh Habib and first secretaries Khadim Hussain, Mudassir Cheema and Shahid Iqbal. Akhtar also claimed that Indian officials threatened to inject him with a heart-attack inducing substance if he didn't comply with their orders.
Relations between India and Pakistan have worsened since the militant attack on the Army's camp in Kashmir's Uri sector on September 18.