Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday named eight officials of the Indian High Commission who it alleged were involved in “subversive activities”, a day after six Pakistani officials of the high commission in New Delhi were called back.
Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria, in his weekly press briefing, said, “a number of Indian diplomats and staff belonging to Indian intelligence agencies RAW and IB have been found involved in coordinating terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan under the garb of diplomatic assignments.”
He named the alleged Indian intelligence personnel as Rajesh Kumar Agnihotri, Commerical Counsellor “and RAW station chief”, Anurag Singh, First Commercial Secretary, Amardeep Singh Bhatti, Attache Visa, Dharmendra Sodhi, staff member, Vijay Kumar Verma, staff, Madhavan Nanda Kumar, staff, and “suspected IB operatives”, Balbir Singh, First Secretary – Press and Information and “IB station chief”, Jayabalan Senthil, Assistant Personnel Welfare Officer.
Zakariya claimed that Indian High Commission official Surjeet Singh who was declared persona non-grata a few days ago was also an IB operative working under Balbir Singh.
“Surjeet was using a fake identity as Abdul Hafeez pretending to be a telecom company Warid’s employee,” the spokesperson alleged.
Singh’s expulsion followed that of a Pakistani High Commission official in New Delhi, Mehboob Akhtar, on charges of working for the Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency.
“We are disappointed that India has not only been found involved in promoting terrorist activities and terror financing as was disclosed by Kulbhushan Yadhav, and further confirmed by the statements at the highest political level… India has also been using its diplomatic mission for its nefarious designs,” Zakariya said.
The Foreign Office spokesman also condemned the treatment of Pakistani diplomats in India, stating that New Delhi had violated the Vienna Convention and diplomatic etiquette. “The lives of Pakistani diplomats were put at stake when their names were mentioned in the media,” he said.
On Wednesday, Pakistan pulled out six of its officers and staff posted at the high commission in New Delhi following Indian claims that four diplomats were working for Pakistani intelligence services.
The withdrawn officers and staffers reached Lahore on Wednesday.
In March, Pakistan said it had arrested a “serving Indian naval intelligence officer” Kulbhushan Jadhav in Balochistan for allegedly working for RAW.
Relations between the two rivals have been strained since the past few months, following the January 2 terror attack on the Pathankot air base, which India has blamed on terrorists from Pakistan, and the long unrest in Kashmir Valley, which India has accused Pakistan of fomenting.
The September 18 terror attack on an army camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, that left 19 soldiers dead has flared tensions, an attack that India blamed on Pakistan-based militants.
India has said it carried out “surgical strikes” on terror launch pads in Pakistan as retribution.