New Delhi: In a significant development, India on Tuesday asked Pakistan to reduce staff strength in its High Commission in New Delhi by 50 per cent. The ministry of External Affairs said India will also, on the other hand, reduce its staff strength in its High Commission in Islamabad. Also Read - Coronavirus: After Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi, Health Minister Zafar Mirza Tests Positive
“The Government of India has taken the decision to reduce staff strength in the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi by 50%. It would reciprocally reduce its own presence in Islamabad to the same proportion,” the MEA said. Also Read - 'Frank, in-Depth Exchange of Views': MEA on NSA Doval's Talks With Chinese Foreign Minister
The move comes after two Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad were abducted on gunpoint and tortured by Pakistani security agencies. Also Read - Disengagement Begins in Galwan: China Withdraws Troops by At Least 1-2 KM, Heavy Armoured Vehicles Still Present, Say Sources
A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said that the Centre summoned the Charge d’ Affaires (CDA) of Pakistan and informed him about its decision related to the Pakistan High Commission. The MEA also conveyed to Pakistan’s Charge d’ Affaires its concerns over activities of its officials of High Commission in Delhi.
The MEA told the Pakistan Charge d’ Affaires that officials of its High Commission are engaged in espionage and maintained dealings with terror outfits.
The MEA also added that Pakistan is engaged in sustained campaign to intimidate officials of Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
In a statement, the MEA said that Pakistan’s behaviour is not in conformity with Vienna Convention and bilateral agreements on treatment of diplomatic, consular officials.
India has repeatedly expressed concern about Pakistan High Commission officials indulging in espionage activities and maintaining dealings with terror outfits. The government recalled the recent case where two Pakistani visa officials were caught red-handed and expelled for spying last month.