The Foreign Secretary on Thursday summoned the Indian High Commissioner today and conveyed the decision of the Government of Pakistan to declare Surjeet Singh, an official of the Indian High Commission, as persona non grata, said a statement released by the Foreign Office.
The statement added that the Foreign Secretary expressed deep concern over the activities of the Indian official that were in violation of the Vienna Convention and established diplomatic norms.
“The Indian High Commission has been asked to make urgent necessary arrangements for Surjeet Singh and his family to leave Pakistan by October 29, 2016.”
Earlier today, India decided to expel a Pakistani high commission staff member for “espionage activities”, a foreign ministry official said, as local media reported that New Delhi police had detained him.
The Indian foreign secretary summoned Pakistani ambassador to India Abdul Basit to inform him that a Pakistan High Commission staffer has been declared persona non grata for espionage activities, Spokesperson of Indian Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarap said in a tweet.
Delhi police crime commissioner Ravindra Yadav said the official had been detained on Wednesday with defence and other documents in his possession.
The documents included information on deployment of India's border security forces, Yadav told a press conference.
A Pakistani diplomatic source said the visa official, named as Mehmood Akhtar, had been given 48 hours to leave the country.
Akhtar was released in about three hours on intervention by our High Commission, the Foreign Office said.
Two other officials, identified as Maulana Ramzan and Subhash Jangir, have also been arrested for allegedly passing on sensitive information to the staffer.
Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit "strongly protested with Indian Foreign Secretary at the detention and manhandling of Pakistan High Commission staff," a spokesperson of the Pakistan High commission in Delhi said.
The high commissioner also said the detention contravened the 1961 Vienna Convention.
He asked the Indian government to ensure that such harassment does not happen in the future and strongly rejected accusations of the Indian government.
“Pakistan never engages in activity that is incompatible with its diplomatic status,” the envoy said.
"This act clearly reflects Indian actions to shrink diplomatic space for the working of Pakistan High Commission," the FO said.
The possible expulsion of the official comes amidst soaring tensions between Pakistan and India in the wake of a spate of cross-border firing which has caused casualties on either sides.
The Indian prime minister stepped up a drive to isolate Pakistan diplomatically after the Uri army base attack last month.
Hours after the attack occurred, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed Pakistan a 'terrorist state'. India also accused Pakistan of involvement in the attack.
The Uri attack occurred days before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was set to address the United Nations General Assembly regarding Indian human rights violations in held Kashmir.
Following the attack, India claimed to have conducted a cross-border 'surgical strike' against 'launch pads of terror' in Azad Jammu and Kashmir — a claim Pakistan has strongly rejected.
Pakistan maintains that India is attempting to divert the world's attention away from 'atrocities' committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir.
Pakistan and India have locked horns over the Kashmir issue since Indian forces stepped up a crackdown against protesters after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by government forces in July.