New Delhi | Reacting strongly, India on Friday condemned Pakistan’s decision to expel its High Commission staffer in Islamabad, saying the action further confirms that Pakistan continues to be in denial of its anti-India activities, including cross-border terrorism.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said no justification has been provided by Pakistan except for the “completely baseless and unsubstantiated” allegation that his activities were not in keeping with diplomatic norms.
“Government notes with regret the Government of Pakistan’s decision to declare Surjeet Singh, Assistant Personnel and Welfare Officer in the High Commission of India in Islamabad, persona non grata and expel him and his family members. The Government condemns Pakistan’s step.
“It is obvious that the step is an afterthought following yesterday’s apprehension of Pakistan High Commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar in Delhi while indulging in anti-India activities. Pakistan’s action further confirms that it continues to be in denial of its anti-India activities, including cross-border terrorism,” Swarup said.
Within hours of India expelling Akhtar yesterday, Pakistan, in a tit-for-tat action, declared Singh as persona non-grata and asked him to leave the country within 48 hours.
The Pakistan Foreign Secretary, who had summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to convey the decision, “expressed deep concern over the activities of the Indian official that were in violation of the Vienna Convention and the established diplomatic norms”, the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.
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