In a brazen act, Pakistan on Saturday arrested and handcuffed a senior Indian diplomat and ordered his expulsion accusing him of indulging in "undesirable activities", bringing a new low in bilateral ties.
Deepak Kaul, Consular (visa) at the Indian High Commission, has been asked to leave the country within 48 hours, Indian officials in Islamabad said.
A group of about eight to nine persons pounced on Kaul when he was having tea at a kiosk on Islamabad-Lahore Highway on his way to Wagah border to receive his family, the officials said.
They said the diplomat was handcuffed, blindfolded and taken to an undisclosed location where he was kept for about five hours.
He was later handed over to Indian diplomats who were summoned to the Foreign Office.
"We have evidence of his undesirable activities," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said without elaborating.
Asked what warranted Pakistani authorities to take Kaul into custody, she said he was caught "redhanded for indulging in activities not compatible with his diplomatic status," a euphemism used for spying.
She denied that he was handcuffed, blindfolded or manhandled. "We don't handcuff diplomats."
"We wanted him to be withdrawn quietly" but since the Indian High Commission disclosed this to the media "I am also confirming it."
Aslam said the Indian High Commission has been told that Kaul should be withdrawn by early next week.