Pakistan

Indian diplomat leaves for India after being expelled from Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: A recently expelled Indian diplomat from Pakistan over alleged improper activities, Surjeet Singh, left the country for India late on Friday night.

The Indian diplomat was told to leave Pakistan after the Foreign Secretary had summoned the Indian High Commissioner on Thursday to inform that Islamabad would be sending back a diplomat on suspicious activities.

“The Foreign Secretary expressed deep concern over the activities of the Indian official that were in violation of the Vienna Convention and the established diplomatic norms,” said an official statement on Thursday.

Pakistan decided to expel the Indian diplomat after India said it would expel, Mehmood Akhtar, a Pakistani high commission staff member for alleged ‘espionage’ activities.

Akhtar was reportedly detained on Wednesday with alleged documents in his possession on Indian troop deployment along the border. He was later released.

However, Indian foreign secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit to inform him about the decision.

Basit lodged a ‘strong protest’ with the Indian foreign ministry and said the detention contravened diplomatic conventions.

“Pakistan never engages in activity that is incompatible with its diplomatic status,” he said.

 

Not-so-good neighbours

Tensions between Pakistan and India soared in recent weeks as India blamed Pakistan for an attack on an army base in Indian-held Kashmir on September 18.

Pakistan has always denied the Indian allegations, saying Delhi was Islamabad only to divert world’s attention from its own atrocities in the held Himalayan valley of Kashmir.

Since the attack, Indian and Pakistani troops regularly exchange fire across their de-facto border in Kashmir.

Pakistan has repeatedly told India to refrain from creating tensed circumstances for the soldiers along the border.

Thousands of Kashmiris have been killed and injured in the disputed valley only because they want either freedom from Indian rule or a merger with Pakistan as per resolutions of the United Nations (UN).

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