Pakistan on Thursday accused eight Indian embassy employees of involvement in spying and terrorism but stopped short of expelling them, in the latest apparent tit-for-tat move as relations between the two countries nosedive. The declaration came days after a similar move by New Delhi, which accused six Pakistani diplomats of being part of a spy network, forcing Islamabad to withdraw them from their posts. “A number of Indian diplomats and staff … have been found involved in coordinating terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan under the garb of diplomatic assignments,” foreign ministry spokesman Nafees Zakariya told a press briefing in Islamabad. He went on to name the eight men including one accused of using a false identity to pose as an employee of a Pakistani mobile network. “All these eight officials were involved in espionage, subversion and supporting of terrorist activities,” he said. The latest round of diplomatic expulsions began on Oct 27 when India detained a Pakistani visa official accused of spying, later declaring him persona non grata and sending him home. Pakistan responded with a similar move the same day.
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