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Pakistan to expel Indian HC staff in tit-for-tat move: FM Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the officials of Indian High Commission in Islamabad should be readied to leave the country in a tit-for-tat move if Pakistani diplomatic staff were expelled by New Delhi authorities, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while talking exclusively to ARY News, said that Indian authorities levelled baseless allegations against the officials of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi and the country was finding excuses to stage a false flag operation.

He added that India has never respected the diplomatic norms and now the New Delhi government directed 50 per cent official of High Commission for Pakistan to leave the country. The foreign minister promised a solid response to India as Pakistan will also expel Indian High Commission’s staff by 50 per cent.

Qureshi said that India was hiding its face after facing humiliation defeat by China.

Read: Pakistan summons Indian chargé d’ affaires, informs reciprocal measure to reduce HC staff

He said the foreign ministry has categorically rejected the allegations levelled by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and termed it as an attempt to divert attention from its state terrorism in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“The world is witnessing the Islamophobia in India besides observing the discriminatory actions against Muslims and minorities. BJP had grabbed electoral victory by propagating against Pakistan. The ruling political party in India had faced defeat in five states before staging a drama in the name of Pulwama attack.”

“Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact rejected the illegal moves of India in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, whereas, and the international community has also considered New Delhi as a risk to the regional peace.”

He vowed that the Indian government will get the same response from Pakistan. “50 per cent staff of Indian High Commission in Islamabad should get prepared to return to their country,” said Qureshi.

Read: OIC Contact Group rejects Indian moves to change demographic structure of IOJK

Earlier in the day, Pakistan summoned Indian Chargé d’ Affaires to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reject the baseless allegations levelled by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs regarding the violations of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by the high commission’s officials in New Delhi.

Islamabad has categorically rejected the baseless allegations made by the Indian MEA as a pretext to seek a 50 per cent reduction in the staff strength of the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi.

The FO statement read, “Pakistan completely dismisses allegations of any violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by the officials of the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi and reiterates that they always function within the parameters of international law and diplomatic norms.”

Pakistan also rejects the insinuations of intimidation of Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad.

The Indian Chargé d’ Affaires was also informed of Pakistan’s decision to reduce the Indian High Commission’s staff strength by 50 per cent as a reciprocal measure. The Chargé d’ Affaires was asked to implement the decision conveyed to him within seven days.

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