Days after India accused Pakistani official Mehmood Akhtar of participating in espionage activities, Pakistan on Wednesday, pulled out four employees posted at its high commission in New Delhi. 

The four high commission officials returned to Pakistan via the Wagah border, reports The Times of India.

The names of the officers -- commercial counsellor Syed Furrukh Habib and first secretaries Khadim Hussain, Mudassir Cheema and Shahid Iqbal -- were made public after a recorded statement of High Commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar was released to the media.

Source: b'\xc2\xa0Copy of the forged Aadhar card of Pakistan High Commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar who used to hire spies to get sensitive information and documents related to Army deployment from a spy network he had created | Source: PTI'

Akhtar was expelled from India after being declared persona non-grata. Akhtar told Dawn News that he had given the statement under duress.

"We consider it as a serious breach of diplomatic norms," a Pakistani official was quoted as saying about India's expulsion of Akhtar. It was a "deliberate and provocative action", the official said.

In a tit-for-tat action, Pakistan had also declared an Indian High Commission official as persona non-grata after New Delhi's action against Akhtar following Indian police's busting of an ISI-run spy ring.

Source: b'These men from Rajasthan were arrested for allegedly leaking documents to Pak official | Source: PTI\xc2\xa0'

Akhtar, who worked in the visa section of the Pakistan High Commission and had diplomatic immunity, was procuring critical details including those about deployment of BSF personnel along the Indo-Pak border from two other accomplices who were arrested in Delhi.

Akhtar and two others -- identified as Subhash Jangir and Maulana Ramzan-- were picked up from Delhi Zoo last week. Akhtar was released after around three hours of interrogation as he enjoyed diplomatic immunity. A fourth person Shoaib, who is a Jodhpur-based passport and visa agent, was detained by Rajasthan police later.

(With inputs from PTI)

(Feature image source: Reuter)