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Tit-for-tat: Pakistan declares Indian High Comm official persona non-grata

New Delhi: In a tit-for-tat action, Pakistan on Thursday declared an Indian High Commission official as persona non-grata and asked him to leave the country within 48 hours. Foreign Office said in a statement that the decision was conveyed to Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale who was summoned to foreign ministry.

“The Foreign Secretary (Aizaz Chaudhry) 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,” the statement said.

The Foreign Secretary expressed deep concern over the activities of the Indian official that were in violation of the Vienna Convention and the established diplomatic norms, it said. The Indian High Commission has been asked to make urgent necessary arrangements for Singh and his family to leave Pakistan by October 29.

Earlier on Thursday, India declared a Pakistan High Commission staffer in New Delhi as persona non-grata for espionage activities after he was caught by Delhi Police with sensitive defence documents including deployment details of BSF along the Indo-Pak border. Indian government gave him a 48-hour deadline to leave the country with his family.