Pak summons India envoy to register protest over staffer’s expulsion

Islamabad [Pakistan], Oct. 27 : The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to register protest over the expulsion of Pakistan High Commission staffer for espionage charges.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry also conveyed the government's decision to declare Surjeet Singh, an official of the Indian High Commission, as persona non grata (an unacceptable or unwelcome person).

Earlier today, Islamabad also condemned India's declaring Pakistan's High Commission Staff member as persona non grata and stated the action is a violation of the Vienna Convention signed in 1961.

Islamabad alleged that the Indian Government lifted the staff member 'on false and unsubstantiated charges' and rejected and condemned the detention and manhandling the official.

Pakistan envoy to India, Abdul Basit, also denied the accusations of espionage, 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. This comes as the Indian authorities arrested two citizens and expelled Pakistani High Commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar for "espionage activities" and asked him to leave India within 48 hours.

Source: ANI