Pak’s Tit-For-Tat move has compromised security of 8 officials, says India

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India has rubbished as “baseless and unsubstantiated” the allegations of Pakistan that eight Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad are involved in spying and “anti-Pakistan” activities.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the allegations represent an “after-thought” and a “crude attempt” to target them after a Pakistan High Commission staffer was caught red-handed in espionage.
New Delhi has also strongly protested the manner in which names and photos of the eight officials – four hold diplomatic passports – were published, which compromised their security.
“We expelled only one person from India for anti-India activities. After that Pakistan decided to withdraw on its own six of their staffers. And then they decided to put in the public domain details of eight of our diplomats and officials whose safety and security has been completely compromised,” Mr Swarup said, adding, “This is against basic norms of diplomatic practice and courtesy.”
Pakistan has claimed that the officials were involved in “espionage, subversion and supporting terrorist activities in Balochistan and Sindh, especially Karachi, sabotaging China Pakistan Economic Corridor, and fuelling instability in the two provinces”.
Asked whether the Indian officials are being recalled, Mr Swarup said the government will take “necessary steps”. Their security, he said, is a priority.
“We expect the government of Pakistan to take all necessary steps to ensure the security and safety of not only these eight diplomats and officials but all other members of the High Commission and their families while they are in Pakistan,” he said.
Last week, India expelled Pakistan High Commission official Mehmood Akhtar, who was caught during a rendezvous with two men who were passing on sensitive documents to him. Pakistan then recalled six officials and declared an Indian official, Surjeet Singh, persona non grata. On Thursday, the country put out the names of the eight Indians claiming they are involved in “subversive activities”.
Swarup said Pakistan’s baseless allegations add to the “risks to peace and security in the region emanating from Pakistan’s support to cross-border terrorism against its neighbours”.

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