Pakistan is considering pulling out from India four officers posted at its High Commission in New Delhi, days after India declared one Pakistani official personal non-grata for espionage activities, a media report said on Tuesday.
“This is under consideration. A final decision would be taken shortly,” a source at the Foreign Office was quoted as saying by Dawn News.
The names of the officers — commercial counsellor Syed Furrukh Habib and first secretaries Khadim Hussain, Mudassir Cheema and Shahid Iqbal — were made public after a recorded statement of High Commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar was released to the media, the report said.
Akhtar was expelled from India after being declared ‘persona non-grata’.
Akhtar told Dawn News that he had given the statement under duress.
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.
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 Indo-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.
(With inputs from PTI)