India and Pakistan may soon recall their envoys following heightened hostilities in their diplomatic interactions, The Express Tribune reported on Friday. The neighbouring governments may even consider scaling down their diplomatic staff strength in their High Commission offices. The two countries have been involved in a fracas that began with the declaration of Pakistani High Commission official Mehmood Akhtar as "persona non grata" on October 27 and his subsequent expulsion.
Akhtar had claimed that an Indian Space Research Organisation official gave him "sensitive information". According to a Dawn report, on returning to Pakistan, Akhtar claimed that Indian authorities forced him to read a list of names disclosing Pakistani staffers as spies.
Following Akhtar's expulsion from India, Pakistan alleged that Indian High Commission official Surjeet Singh was a spy and declared him "persona non grata". India dismissed the development as an "afterthought".
On November 3, Pakistan listed eight Indian High Commission staffers as members of New Delhi's intelligence agencies and accused them of indulging in "subversive activities". The Pakistani official alleged that the eight staffers were "supporting terrorist activities in Balochistan and Sindh, sabotaging the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, and fuelling instability in the two provinces”. The announcement followed India's declaration of four Pakistani High Commission employees as spies, which Islamabad claims compromised their security.
Relations between India and Pakistan have worsened since the militant attack on the Army's camp in Kashmir's Uri sector on September 18.