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Pakistan, India Expel Each Other's Diplomats Amid Kashmir Tensions


An Indian Border Security Force soldier keeps guard at an Indian-Pakistani border post in Kashmir.

An Indian Border Security Force soldier keeps guard at an Indian-Pakistani border post in Kashmir.

Pakistan and India have each expelled a diplomat from the other country amid escalating tensions between the two South Asian powers over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

India announced early on October 27 that it had expelled a staffer at the Pakistani Embassy in New Delhi after briefly detaining him for espionage activities.

Islamabad said the allegations against its diplomat, Mahmood Akhtar, were "false and unsubstantiated." Akhtar was told he had to leave New Delhi by October 29.

Indian officials said Akhtar was detained briefly for questioning and was found with documents detailing Indian troop deployments along the India-Pakistan border.

They said two Indian men, from the western state of Rajasthan bordering Pakistan, were arrested for passing on information to Akhtar.

Later on October 27, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry responded tit for tat, saying it had asked Indian Embassy official Sujeel Singh to leave Pakistan for violating diplomatic norms. It said Singh must also leave the country by October 29.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have soared since a militant raid last month on an Indian Army base near the de-facto border dividing Kashmir killed 19 soldiers, the worst such attack in more than a decade.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
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