Home / News / India and Pakistan ask each other to reduce mission strength in Islamabad and New Delhi by 50%

India and Pakistan ask each other to reduce mission strength in Islamabad and New Delhi by 50%

ISLAMABAD, June 23: In yet another sign of deepening tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, India has decided to reduce the staff strength of Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi by 50 per cent.
The decision was conveyed to the Charge d’Affaires of Pakistan, who was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs, said a statement issued by the Indian External Affairs Ministry on Tuesday.
It added that India would also reduce the staff strength of its diplomatic mission in Islamabad by the same amount.
The Indian government blamed Pakistan for further downgrading in the diplomatic ties. There has been no reaction yet from Islamabad but officials said a meeting is underway at the Foreign Office to discuss the latest development.
Pakistan had downgraded diplomatic ties in August last year when it pulled out its High Commissioner and ordered the expulsion of the Indian envoy after New Delhi revoked the special status of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K).
On May 31, India declared two staffers of the Pakistani mission persona non grata after accusing them of espionage. Both were expelled later. However, Pakistan strongly dismissed Indian claims and instead accused New Delhi for violating the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.
Recently, India withdrew two of its staff members, who were briefly detained by Islamabad police in a “hit-and-run” accident. Both officials returned to New Delhi on Monday. Meanwhile, the Modi government claimed that officials of Pakistani mission in New Delhi had 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,” the Indian external affairs ministry alleged.
In a tit-for-tat response, Pakistan also conveyed to India to reduce its High Commission’s staff strength by 50 per cent as a reciprocal measure, as earlier India did the same after levelling allegations against staffers of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.
The Foreign Office in a press statement said that Indian Chargé d’ Affaires was asked to implement the decision conveyed to him within seven days. The Indian diplomat was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey Pakistan’s rejection and condemnation of the baseless Indian allegations.
Pakistan said that it categorically rejects and strongly condemns the baseless allegations made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs as a pretext to seek 50 percent reduction in the staff strength of the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi.-PR

About Web Desk

Check Also

PDM chants slogan to disintegrate Pakistan

We want Balochistan to be an independent state: Owais Noorani Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Maryam Nawaz …