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India set to expel Pakistan embassy staffer for 'espionage'

India will expel a Pakistani high commission staff member for “espionage activities”, a foreign ministry official said Thursday, as local media reported that New Delhi police had detained him.

The Indian foreign secretary summoned Pakistani ambassador to India Abdul Basit to inform him that a Pakistan High Commission staffer has been declared persona non grata for espionage activities, Spokesperson of Indian Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarap said in a tweet.

The official, Mehmood Akhtar, was taken into custody by Delhi police on Wednesday night after he was found “in possession of defence documents”, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

Akhtar was released after questioning “as he enjoys diplomatic immunity”, PTI quoted police officials as saying.

Two other officials, identified as Maulana Ramzan and Subhash Jangir, have also been arrested for allegedly passing on sensitive information to the staffer.

Dawn.com is attempting to reach the Foreign Office spokesperson for a comment.

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