Friday, 16 April 2021

India and Pakistan scale down diplomatic ties

NEW DELHI / LAHORE: In a major move to scale down bilateral diplomatic contacts, India today announced its decision to reduce by half the staff strength in the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi and reciprocally cut by the same quantity the Indian presence in Islamabad.

This decision, which is to be implemented in seven days, was conveyed to the Pakistani Charge d’Affaires, who was summoned today to the Ministry of External Affairs, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

The MEA said in a statement that the Pakistani diplomat was told India had repeatedly expressed concerns about the activities of officials of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi who “have been engaged in acts of espionage and maintained dealings with terrorist organisations.”

 Pakistan releases two Indian High Commission employees involved in hit-and-run incident

Pakistani authorities on Monday released two Indian High Commission officials who were involved in a hit-and-run incident in the federal capital.

The two, Dwimu Brahma and Paul Selvadhas, were sent back to India via the Wagah border crossing. Authorities had also found counterfeit currency from their possession.

Brahma and Selvadhas had arrived in the country in 2017, according to the Foreign Office (FO).

The capital territory police arrested the two Indian officials on June 15 however, they were freed after the FO intervened in the matter.

The two officials were accompanied by the second secretary of the Indian Embassy and the air attache, who have been summoned to New Delhi for consultations on the current Pak-India tension.

Earlier, an FIR (First Information Report) registered at the Secretariat Police Station said the two officials ran over a pedestrian and subsequently attempted to flee.

Counterfeit currency notes were also recovered from one of the detained Indian high commission officials, the FIR added.

Neither the FO nor the Indian High Commission issued any formal statement.

The incident was first reported by the Indian media, which claimed that two Indian officials went missing when they came out of the office for some work.

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