New Delhi/Islamabad: India said on Wednesday it would withdraw eight of its diplomats from Pakistan after they were identified in local media reports, in a further deterioration in ties between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours.
"They have put in the public domain eight names and six of these people went today. We will eventually withdraw all eight," said Vikas Swarup, spokesman at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
He said the diplomats had been "completely compromised" after their names and pictures were put in the public domain. Earlier, Pakistani media reported that Islamabad may expel as many as five Indian diplomats suspected of spying.
Geo TV had reported that commercial counsellor Rajesh Agnihotri and press counsellor Balbir Singh may be expelled.
Citing sources, the channel claimed that Agnihotri was directly linked with RAW while Singh was working for Intelligence Bureau (IB) and they were allegedly using their positions in Pakistan as cover to hide their real identities.
It claimed Singh was also running a network of militants in Pakistan and expelled High Commission official Surgeet Singh was also part of his network.
The development came after reports that Pakistan may call back at least four officials at its High Commission in India after they were named in a recorded statement of Mehmood Akhtar who was briefly detained and then expelled by India.
They include commercial counsellor Syed Furrukh Habib and first secretaries Khadim Hussain, Mudassir Cheema and Shahid Iqbal....