The Indian government on Thursday flatly rejected Pakistan's allegations that officials at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad were spying. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also hit out strongly against the publication of the pictures and names of Indian High Commission officials it has accused of spying.
"We completely reject the baseless and unsubstantiated allegations made by Pakistan against certain officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. The Indian government strongly protests the manner in which the names and photos of eight Indian officials, four of them holders of diplomatic passports, have been published," said MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup at a news briefing on Thursday.
The identities of these officials were released in the public domain and in the media which dubbed them as spies and described them as agents of India’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). The Pakistani authorities alleged that the officials had been installed to carry out espionage activities and destabilizing operations but without giving any evidence to back any of the allegations. To ensure their safety, Indian has now chosen to withdraw these officials.
Swarup said the officials were falsely implicated. In fact, they were working in the fields of promoting people to people, trade and economic contacts.
It is important for Pakistan to desist its failed policies that has led to its diplomatic isolation, he said.
Swarup said Pakistan must create a conducive atmosphere in which discussions on regional prosperity could take place within the SAARC framework.
"The root cause of problems between the two sides is Pakistan's support to cross-border terrorism and its promotion as element of state policy,” he said.
The MEA had earlier said that Mehmood Akhtar, the Pakistani high commission staffer who was arrested by Delhi police on charges of spying, revealed information about anti-India activities going inside Pakistani High Commission.
Responding to a question on cross-border fire, Swarup said, "Our forces don't initiate nor violate ceasefire, they only retaliate”.
"2/3rds of ceasefire violations by Pakistan have taken place in the last five weeks, he said, adding "India rejects Pakistan's claim of ceasefire violations by Army”.
"We completely reject baseless and unsubstantiated allegations made by Pakistan against certain Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad.”