India today took strong objection to Pakistan’s move to make public the names and identities of the officials working at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, saying the decision put their lives and safety at risk.
Denying Pakistan’s allegations of the officials working as ‘undercover operatives’ as baseless and unsubstantiated, India today said the officials were involved in working in fields of promoting people to people ties and trade, economic contacts between the two countries.
“Pakistan's false allegations against them have the potential to adversely affect the corresponding activities of the High Commission,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
Swarup’s remark came in the wake of Pakistani media revealing the identity of eight officials of the Indian High Commission, who were described as ‘undercover operatives’.
Pakistan’s news website reported that the officials were working either for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) or the Indian Intelligence Bureau.
The eight officials have been identified as: Rajesh Kumar Agnihotri , commercial counsellor in the Indian High Commission; Balbir Singh, First Secretary, Press and Culture; Anurag Singh First Secretary, Commercial; Amardeep Singh Bhatti, Visa Attache; Dharamedra; Vijay Kumar Verma and Madhavan Nanda Kumar (Visa Assistants); and Jayabalan Senthil, Assistant, Personnel Welfare Office.
Swarup informed that the government has not yet recalled any of those officials.
“We have not yet recalled any of those officials, only one was declared persona non grata,” Swarup said, adding that “government protests strongly manner in which names, photos of eight Indian officials, four of them holders of diplomatic passports, have been published”.
“Root cause of problems between India & Pakistan is Pakistan's support to cross border terrorism and its promotion as element of state policy. It is important for Pakistan to desist its failed policies which has led to its diplomatic isolation,” he further said.
The MEA spokesperson also rejected Pakistan’s allegation that Indian security forces were violating the ceasefire agreement and targeting civilians.
“Our security forces neither initiate Ceasefire violation nor they target civilians, they just retaliate in calibrated manner,” he said.
“We reject Pakistan’s allegations of any unprovoked firing, we have lodged a strong protest with Pakistan for killing our civilians,” he added.
To a question related to SAARC Summit, he said, “Pakistan should create a conducive atmosphere in which discussions on regional prosperity could take place within SAARC framework.”
When quizzed about Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meet to be held in Vienna on November 11, he said, “We have lodged our application for NSG, now members will take a decision on it. We interacted with China on this matter as well.”
Reports have emerged that Rafael Grossi, former NSG chair and Argentine envoy, has been appointed point person for India to take up the issue and since then the senior diplomat has undertaken informal consultations to build consensus on the criteria for admission.