Pakistan declares Indian High Commission official Surjeet Singh persona-non-grata; asks him to leave country

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New Delhi | Updated: October 27, 2016 11:01:12 PM

The move comes in less then 24 hours time after India detained a Pakistan envoy’s official on espionage charges.

catsThe move comes in less than 24 hours time after India detained a Pakistan envoy’s official on espionage charges. (ANI)

In an apparent retaliatory move, Pakistan on Thursday declared Indian High Commission staffer in Islamabad Surjeet Singh as persona-non-grata. The move comes less than 24 hours after India detained a Pakistani official on espionage charges. Pakistan government’s decision was conveyed to Indian High Commission in Islamabad in the  evening. Earlier today, Delhi Police had arrested Pakistani High Commission official Mehmood Akhtar for possession of defence papers regarding the deployment of BSF among other subjects. However, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit denied the charges. He asked the Indian government to ensure that no such ‘harassment’ should happen in the future. Mehmood was later released as he was in India on a diplomatic passport. He was also asked to leave the country immediately.

Basit protested with FS Jaishankar against the “detention and manhandling of Mehmood Akhtar” and said that that it was in direct violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention.

Also Read | Pakistan HC Abdul Basit denies ‘spying’ charges, protests against detention of staffer

Meanwhile, Delhi Police said that Mehmood Akhtar was earlier a havildar in the Baloch regiment of Pakistan Army and was later hired by the ISI. He was working with the visa department of the Pakistan High Commission.

The move by Pakistani authorities against the staffer of the Indian High Commission there is in retaliation for the Indian government’s earlier action.

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