21:51 GMT18 September 2020
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    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - India wants Pakistan to reduce by half the strength of its diplomatic mission in New Delhi, citing the questionable activities of Pakistani diplomats, the Ministry of External Affairs said Tuesday.

    "The Charge d’ Affaires of Pakistan was summoned today to the Ministry of External Affairs and informed that India had repeatedly expressed concern about the activities of officials of his High Commission. They have been engaged in acts of espionage and maintained dealings with terrorist organizations," the ministry said in a press release.

    In addition, India believes that Pakistan has "engaged in a sustained campaign to intimidate the officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad."

    "Therefore, the Government of India has taken the decision to reduce the staff strength in the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi by 50%. It would reciprocally reduce its own presence in Islamabad to the same proportion," the ministry said.

    Decades-long tensions between India and Pakistan escalated further last August, after New Delhi stripped the Jammu and Kashmir state of its partial autonomy, dividing it into two union territories directly controlled by the Indian government. Pakistan, which has long been claiming the Kashmir region, partially located in the state, condemned the move strongly.

    Tags:
    diplomacy, New Delhi, India, Pakistan
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