No proposal to reduce Indian mission strength in Islamabad: Govt

New Delhi: There is no proposal to reduce the strength of Indian High Commission in Islamabad, the government said today.

Eight Indian officials have come back in the last two months after Pakistan levelled “baseless allegations” against them and endangered their safety and security by making their identity public.

The “baseless allegation by Pakistan against these officials followed Pakistan’s decision to withdraw six Pakistani diplomats reportedly named by Mehmood Akhtar, who was apprehended by Indian law enforcement authorities on October 27, 2016 while indulging in anti-India activities,” Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

“The positions falling vacant in the Indian High Commission, Islamabad consequent to the return of the aforementioned eight officials to India are to be filled through normal administrative process. There is no proposal with the government to reduce the strength of the High Commission,” Singh said.

Singh also said while change in the leadership of Pakistan’s State institutions, including its army is an internal matter, there has been a sustained escalation this year of cross-border terrorism and infiltration of armed terrorists across IB and LoC tasked to carry out terror acts in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India.

He was asked whether heightened diplomatic and border tension between the two countries is a creation by ISI to dictate its terms in the matter of succession to its current chief.

The minister further said the government has reminded Pakistan through military and diplomatic channels about its responsibility to stop all terrorism directed against India, emanating from territories under Pakistan’s control.