India expels two Pakistani officials for alleged espionage
Iran Press TV
Sunday, 31 May 2020 6:23 PM
India has declared two officials of the Pakistan High Commission in the capital New Delhi as persona non grata for "espionage activities", ordering their expulsion amid deepening tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.
"The government has declared both these officials persona non grata for indulging in activities incompatible with their status as members of a diplomatic mission," India's Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement late Sunday.
The statement said the two were apprehended by Indian law enforcement authorities and were given 24 hours to leave the country.
The duo – identified as Tahir Khan and Abid Hussain – worked as visa assistants at the High Commission.
Later during the day, MEA said in a statement that Pakistan's Charge de Affairs was issued a demarche in which a strong protest was lodged over the activities of the two officials against India's national security.
"Pakistan's Charge de Affairs was asked to ensure that no member of its diplomatic mission should indulge in activities inimical to India or behave in a manner incompatible with their diplomatic status," the MEA said.
Relations between the neighbors have been deeply strained over India's decision to scrap the special status of its portion of Kashmir, which both countries claim.
Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947. Both countries claim all of Kashmir and have fought three wars over the territory.
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