Indian govt lifted staff member on ‘false, unsubstantiated’ charges: Pak MoFA

Islamabad [Pakistan] Oct. 27 : Pakistan on Thursday condemned India's declaring Pakistan's High Commission Staff member as Persona Non Grata (PNG) and stated the action is a violation of the Vienna Convention signed in 1961.

The Pakistan Government alleged that Indian government lifted the staff member 'on false and unsubstantiated charges' and rejected and condemn the detention and manhandling the diplomatic official.

"We reject the Indian allegations and deplore the Indian action which is indeed a violation of the Vienna Convention as well as the norms of diplomatic conduct especially in an already vitiated atmosphere," said a statement issued by Nafees Zakaria, spokesperson, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

The spokesperson also stated that the act reflected India's actions to shrink diplomatic space for the working of the Pakistan High Commission.

Early today, Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit denied the accusations of espionage levelled by the Indian Government, saying Islamabad never indulges in activities that are incompatible with its diplomatic status.

According to sources, Basit strongly protested with Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar over the detention and manhandling of the staffer and said that it is a clear violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention.

The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police on Thursday confirmed the arrest of two people of Pakistan origin who are residents of Rajasthan and the expected deportation of a Pakistan high commission staffer for "espionage activities", for possessing and passing on classified defence-related documents to Pakistan.

Crime Branch Joint Commissioner, Ravindra Yadav told media here that the documents recovered from the high commission staffer included defence deployment maps, details of BSF staff and other visa-related documents.

The Delhi Police officer said they were apprehended at the Delhi Zoo on October 25 when they were meeting to exchange the documents and were tracking their activities for six months.

High Commission have come under the radar over alleged espionage in India. Last year, police claimed to have busted an ISI spy ring in the high commission and five persons were arrested.

Source: ANI