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India To Expel Half Of Pakistani Embassy Staff Over Alleged Spying

India says it has decided to expel half the staff in Pakistan’s Embassy in New Delhi, saying they have been engaged in “acts of espionage” and maintained contacts with “terrorist organizations.”

India will cut staff in its own embassy in Islamabad by the same amount, the Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on June 23.

It said the decisions, which are to be implemented in seven days, were conveyed to the Pakistani charge d’affaires in New Delhi.

The were no immediate comments from Pakistani officials.

Relations between the nuclear-armed rivals are strained and tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats are common.

Neither country has a permanent ambassador in place.

India expelled two Pakistani diplomats on May 31 after they were held for alleged spying, claims Islamabad said were “baseless.”

In the last month, each country has accused the other of the illegal detention and ill-treatment of diplomats.

With reporting by Reuters
Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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