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  • The two South Asian countries regularly oust each other's diplomats on spying charges.

    The two South Asian countries regularly oust each other's diplomats on spying charges. | Photo: AFP

Published 31 May 2020
Opinion

Pakistan’s foreign ministry condemned India’s move and said the two officials were lifted by Indian authorities on false and unsubstantiated charges.

India’s government expelled two officials working at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi after holding them for espionage and declaring them "persona non grata” for indulging in activities incompatible with their status as diplomats, the country's foreign ministry said Sunday.

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"Two [Pakistani] officials were apprehended on Sunday by Indian law enforcement," the ministry said in a statement.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry condemned the move and said the two embassy officials were lifted by Indian authorities on false and unsubstantiated charges.

"We condemn the detention and torture as well as threatening and pressuring of diplomatic officials to accept false charges," the ministry said.

Pakistan is also expected to respond by expelling Indian High Commission officials in the capital Islamabad. 

The two South Asian countries which regularly oust each other's diplomats on spying charges, have a decades-long dispute over Kashmir, which was split between them in 1947 when they gained independence from the United Kingdom.

Since then, the two nations have fought three wars against each other.

In recent months, India has stepped up its counterinsurgency operations across Kashmir during a coronavirus lockdown after scrapping its semi-autonomous status last year and imposing a curfew to quell unrest.

Rebel groups in Indian-administered Kashmir have been fighting for decades for independence or to merge with Pakistan.

The conflict has left tens of thousands dead, mostly civilians, while India has more than 500,000 troops stationed in the Muslim-majority Himalayan region.

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