Archive for Sunday, August 6, 2006

Diplomats expelled after spying allegation

August 6, 2006

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— Pakistan on Saturday expelled an Indian diplomat it said it had caught with "sensitive documents," and India responded by ordering out a Pakistani diplomat, in a setback to the nuclear-armed rivals' shaky peace process.

Pakistan and India often have expelled each other's diplomats over spying allegations. But Saturday's expulsions were the first since the two countries agreed in January 2004 to resume peace talks, the Indian statement said.

Deepak Kaul, an Indian visa official in Islamabad, was caught "red-handed with sensitive documents," a Pakistani government official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. He declined to give details.

India responded by ordering Mohammed Rafique, a visa official at Pakistan's High Commission in New Delhi, to leave India by Aug. 7, Pakistan's foreign ministry said.

Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said Kaul was "caught red-handed" and has been told to leave by early next week.

The last diplomatic expulsions were ordered in 2003.

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