India reduces diplomatic staff in Islamabad by 50 percent
India authorities Tuesday have decided to reduce its diplomatic staff of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad by 50 percent, 24NewsHd TV Channel.
The decision will be implemented within seven days, the TV channel said. It is pertinent to mention that under an agreement between Pakistan and India, both countries have agreed to have 110 staff members within each other's countries high commissions.
The number of High Commission staff between the two countries will now be halved to 55.
According to Hindustan Times published report, India on Tuesday asked Pakistan to reduce its staff strength in the country by half, a decision that comes weeks after the police expelled two staffers at the high commission in Delhi on charges of spying.
Indian government officials told Hindustan Times that the high commissions in Delhi and Islamabad had an agreed strength of 110 officials.
This strength has been halved to 55. Since both the countries currently have about 90-plus staffers, this means that both countries would have to send back about 35 officials within the next week.
Earlier, Indian police and security forces have besieged Pakistani Mission in New Delhi on Tuesday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel, quoting its sources.
According to the channel, the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi also informed the Pakistan Foreign Office on yesterday’s (Monday) harassment by the Indian police and the armed forces.
According to the sources, a large number of Indian police and forces are deployed outside the Pakistani mission in New Delhi with heavy guns.
It may be mentioned here that Pakistani authorities on last Monday said that two Indian High Commission staffers were arrested and later released as they involved in a road accident and were charged with hit-and-run charges in Islamabad.
The incident came two weeks after India expelled two Pakistan High Commission officials on charges of espionage. India had declared Abid Hussain and Muhammad Tahir as persona non grata.
Pakistan arrested and released two Indian High Commission employees in Islamabad over a hit-and-run case, in which a man was reportedly critically injured. The two members of Indian High Commission staff were caught trying to flee the scene of the incident in the capital, police in Islamabad said.
Both staff members then returned to India.