India to withdraw 8 diplomats from Pakistan
India has decided to withdraw eight diplomats from its High Commission in Pakistan citing security concerns after their identities were disclosed by the local media, NDTV reported on Wednesday.
The decision came hours after Pakistan pulled out six officials posted from its High Commission in New Delhi. Pakistani media had earlier reported that the Nawaz Sharif government was likely to expel five Indian diplomats on charges of espionage activities.
Delhi was considering withdrawing two officials — Rajesh Agnihotri and Balbir Singh — from the Indian high commission in Islamabad after their photos appeared on Pakistani news channels, The Times of India has reported.
The local media claimed that the two were involved in spying on the neighbouring country. The Geo TV reportedly claimed that Agnihotri was an agent with India’s Research and Analytics Wing, and Singh worked for the Intelligence Bureau.
The Pakistani officials who were pulled out on Wednesday include commercial counsellor Syed Furrukh Habib and first secretaries Khadim Hussain, Mudassir Cheema and Shahid Iqbal. Relations between India and Pakistan have worsened since the militant attack on the Army’s camp in Kashmir’s Uri sector on September 18.