India rejected Pakistan’s contention that two of its high commission staff were detained on unsubstantiated charges and tortured, people familiar with developments said on Monday that the officials were caught red handed while indulging in spying.
New Delhi on Sunday expelled two junior officials of the Pakistan high commission after they were detained during an operation by the Delhi Police and Military Intelligence while trying to obtain classified documents on security installations.
Pakistan condemned India’s decision to declare the two officials persona non grata and to expel them, saying they were detained on “false and unsubstantiated charges”. A statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Office also contended that the two men were tortured and threatened to “accept false charges” despite identifying themselves as diplomatic staff.
“The assertions of the Pakistan Foreign Office are false. The two officials were caught red handed while indulging in espionage activities,” said one of the people cited above, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“They did not disclose their identity that they were high commission officials. When they were taken into custody and questioned, they confessed to indulging in espionage and also informed that they were high commission officials,” the person added.
The Pakistani mission was immediately informed and the two men were handed over, the person said.
“They were never subjected to any torture. They have also undergone medical examination. Pakistan appears to be making false accusations and possibly creating ground for some tit for tat reaction and torture of Indian officials in Islamabad,” the person cited above said.