India Seeks 50% Reduction in Pak High Commission Strength in Delhi
Govt summoned the Charge d’Affaires of Pakistan and sought to reduce the staff strength in the Pak High Commission.
In view of the several recent activities by Pakistan High Commission related to espionage and abduction of Indian officials, the Ministry of External Affairs, on Monday, 23 June, summoned the Charge d’Affaires of Pakistan and asked to reduce the staff strength in the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi by 50 percent.
According to the ministry, he was reminded that India had repeatedly expressed its concerns about the activities of officials of his High Commission.
“They (officials of Pakistan High Commission) have been engaged in acts of espionage and maintained dealings with terrorist organisations. The activities of the two officials caught red-handed and expelled on 31 May 2020 was one example in that regard,” said MEA in its statement, after a meeting with the Charge d’Affaires of Pakistan.
"While their officials indulged in actions that are not in conformity with their privileged status in the High Commission, Pakistan has in parallel engaged in a sustained campaign to intimidate the officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad from carrying on their legitimate diplomatic functions. The recent abduction at gunpoint of two Indian officials and their severe ill treatment underlines the extent to which Pakistan has gone in that direction," it further added.
This comment by the government comes days after two officials of the Indian High Commission to Pakistan were arrested in Islamabad on 15 June, and were later released after purportedly getting subjected to interrogation and physical assault resulting in grievous injuries.
"These officials who have returned to India on 22 June 2020 have provided graphic details of the barbaric treatment that they experienced at the hands of Pakistani agencies," the ministry highlighted in its statement.
The Government of India, while raising questions about the behaviour of Pakistan, said that its officials are not in conformity with the Vienna Convention and bilateral agreements on the treatment of diplomatic and consular officials.
"On the contrary, it is an intrinsic element of a larger policy of supporting cross-border violence and terrorism. Therefore, the Government of India has taken the decision to reduce the staff strength in the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi by 50 percent. It would reciprocally reduce its own presence in Islamabad to the same proportion. This decision, which is to be implemented in seven days, was conveyed to the Pakistani Charge d’Affaires," read the MEA statement.
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