ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday reiterated his fears for regional peace and security as two staffers of Pakistan’s High Commission in India returned home after being expelled by Delhi over allegations of espionage amid growing tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
Mr Khan, in a telephone call with his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte, said that Indian government’s policies were seriously threatening peace and security in South Asia, the PM’s office said in a statement.
The prime minister expressed his concern over the continuing “double lockdown” in occupied Kashmir, intensification of military crackdown by occupation forces in occupied Kashmir, and changes in domicile law, which would enable non-Kashmiri Indians to settle in the disputed area.
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He said that India was altering the demographic structure of the occupied territory in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention.
Delhi on Sunday expelled two officials of the Pakistan’s High Commission after accusing them of trying to get documents on the Indian security establishment from an Indian national and working against India’s national security.
Delhi police on Monday alleged that they were trying to get information on movements of trains carrying military personnel and cargo.
The two officials identified as Abid Hussain Abid, 42, an assistant in the Pakistani mission, and Mohammad Tahir Khan, 44, a clerk, were declared ‘persona non grata’ by the Indian government and asked to leave within 24 hours.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office promptly rejected the allegations as “false and unsubstantiated”.
An official of Pakistan High Commission told Dawn that the expelled officials had left Delhi and were to enter Pakistan using the land route via Wagah border crossing.
In a related development, an Indian High Commission official was summoned to Foreign Office to receive protest over the expulsion of Pakistani staffers.
The FO in a statement said: “The Indian Charge d’Affaires was summoned to the Foreign Office for a strong demarche, conveying Pakistan’s condemnation of the Indian decision to declare two officials of the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi persona non grata and rejection of all baseless Indian allegations against the High Commission officials.”
Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2020