Islamabad: Hours after New Delhi asked a Pakistani high commission official to leave India, accusing him of running a spy ring, Islamabad late on Thursday expelled an Indian diplomatic staff in a tit-for-tat move that signalled a ratcheting up of hostilities.
Surjit Singh’s activities were against diplomatic norms, Pakistan foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry told Indian high commissioner Gautam Bambawale. Singh, an assistant in the mission, and his family have to leave by October 29.
Earlier in the day, India declared Mehmood Akhtar persona non grata and gave him 48 hours to move out. Pakistan denied the charge and in turn accused Indian investigators of manhandling Akhtar, who was briefly detained by Delhi Police. New Delhi rejected Pakistan’s accusations.
Meanwhile, TV reports claims that Pakistan army indulged in heavy shelling of as many as Indian posts, in which one jawan was martyred. BSF was asked to retaliate in befitting manner by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who along with Doval is monitoring developments on country borders.