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India Says Withdrawing 8 Diplomats From Pakistan

NEW DELHI:  Eight Indian diplomats will be withdrawn from Pakistan as their identity has been compromised after reports in the local media, sources in the External Affairs Ministry told NDTV.

The names and pictures of the diplomat were put in the public domain in Pakistan, said sources. Earlier, Pakistani media reported that Islamabad may expel as many as five Indian diplomats suspected of spying.

The decision came hours after Pakistan pulled out four officials posted from its High Commission in New Delhi. The four had reportedly been named as accomplices by Mehmood Akhtar, who worked at the High Commission and was expelled last week for alleged espionage.

Akhtar, 35, was caught by the police at the Delhi zoo while receiving sensitive intel and documents from two men from Rajasthan. Police said he had been recruited by Pakistani Inter-Services intelligence or ISI three years ago and later posted in the High Commission in Delhi. He worked in the visa section, allegedly so he could recruit potential spies.

During his interrogation by Delhi Police and intelligence agencies, Akhtar had claimed 16 other employees of the diplomatic mission were in touch with spies for extracting sensitive information and documents pertaining to army and Border Security Force or BSF deployment, said a senior police officer privy to the probe.

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