New Delhi: Pakistan on Wednesday pulled out four employees posted at its high commission in New Delhi, days after India declared one Pakistani official persona non-grata for espionage activities.
The four high commission officials returned to Pakistan via the Wagah border. These four officials were reportedly named by expelled Pakistani high commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar during his interrogation.
Pakistani high commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar was last week expelled from India after being declared ‘persona non-grata’.
Mehmood Akhtar is believed to have revealed that he was part of a bigger espionage ring operating from the mission.
Sources said that ISI officer Mehmood Akhtar had admitted as much during questioning after he was detained by the Delhi Police crime branch. They claimed that apart from the four high commission officials he specifically mentioned, Mehmood said that there were at least 10 others tasked with sourcing information from Indians.
Akhtar, who worked in the visa section of the Pakistan high commission and had diplomatic immunity, was procuring critical details including those about deployment of BSF personnel along the India-Pak border from two other accomplices who were arrested in Delhi.
Akhtar and two others – identified as Subhash Jangir and Maulana Ramzan- were picked up from Delhi Zoo last week. Akhtar was released after around three hours of interrogation as he enjoys diplomatic immunity.
A fourth person Shoaib, who is a Jodhpur-based passport and visa agent, was detained by Rajasthan police later.
In a tit-for-tat action, Pakistan had also declared an Indian high commission official as persona non-grata after New Delhi’s action against Akhtar following Indian police’s busting of an ISI-run spy ring.