In an apparent move to downgrade diplomatic ties with Pakistan, India today sought 50 percent reduction of the strength of staff members in Pakistan High Commission here.
New Delhi would reciprocally reduce its own presence in its mission in Islamabad to the same proportion, the decision was conveyed to the Charge d' Affairs of Pakistan high commission Syed Haider Shah as he was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India today.
The decision to reduce the staff members is to be implemented in seven days, the ministry told Mr Shah, according to a statement issued by the ministry here this evening.
The decision came weeks after police expelled two staff members at the Pakistan high commission in Delhi on charges of spying. In the tit-for-tat action, Pakistani security agencies picked two Indian high commission staffers in Islamabad recently and detained them in a road accident case.
The MEA told the Pakistan mission's Charge d' Affairs that India had repeatedly expressed concern about the activities of officials of his high commission in New Delhi.
"They have been engaged in acts of espionage and maintained dealings with terrorist organizations…their officials indulged in actions that are not in conformity with their privileged status in the High Commission," Shah was told.
Besides, Pakistan has in parallel engaged in a sustained campaign to intimidate the officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad from carrying on their legitimate diplomatic functions, the MEA statement said.
In this connection, it said that the recent abduction at gunpoint of two Indian officials and their severe ill treatment underlines the extent to which Pakistan has gone in that direction.
Therefore, it said that the Indian government has taken the decision to reduce the staff strength in the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi by 50 percent.
"It would reciprocally reduce its own presence in Islamabad to the same proportion and the decision would be implemented in seven days," the statement added.