Islamabad: Pakistan is considering pulling out from India four of its officials posted in the High Commission in New Delhi, days after Indian authorities declared one diplomat persona non grata.
According to Foreign Official from High Commission said, “This is under consideration. A final decision would be taken shortly.”
The names of the officials posted at High Commission are as follows-Commercial Counsellor Syed Furrukh Habib and First Secretaries Khadim Hussain, Mudassir Cheema and Shahid Iqbal.
Their names were made public after Indian officials released to media a recorded statement of a High Commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar, who was expelled from India after being declared persona non grata.
The former High Commission official, Akthar who returned to Islamabad last week, said that he had given the statement under duress.
Akthar told local news paper, “They took me to a police station after detaining me where I was forced to read out a written statement provided by them in which the names of the four officers were given and was told to state that they belonged to Pakistan’s intelligence services.”
He narrated how he was “manhandled and picked” from outside a zoo while on his way back from Nizamuddin shrine and taken to a Delhi police station, where he was coerced into recording a statement before being expelled from the country.
Pakistan and India have in the past expelled each other’s diplomats and officials due to their tense relationship, but it is one of those rare occasions where one of the countries took the extreme step of revealing the identities of officers.
Pakistani officials believe that India doing this because of increase in tensions at border between the two countries.