Pak trying to malign India's image through spying allegations: Swaraj
New Delhi: The Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday informed the Lok Sabha that the spying allegations against Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad were a "crude attempt" by Pakistan to malign India's image globally.
The minister, in a written reply, also claimed that the mentioning the names of the officials in front of the media was a violation of the Vienna Convention.
Earlier in November, Pakistan named eight Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad alleging that they were working for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) or the Indian Intelligence Bureau.
Pakistan took the step after India apprehended a Pakistan High Commission official in New Delhi for allegedly practicing anti-India activities.
"The allegations against Indian officials represent an afterthought on the part of Government of Pakistan and constitutes a crude attempt to tarnish the image of India," Sushma Swaraj said in the written reply.
"The manner in which their names and photographs were prominently published in Pakistani media along with baseless allegation reiterated without any corroboration by Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs is against the Vienna Convention and also violates the norms of established diplomatic practice and courtesies," she said.
The minister further claimed that the officials and their families were safely brought back to India in three batches on November 8, 10 and 12.
She also said that the Indian government has taken many initiatives to normalise India-Pakistan relations.
In the month of October, Pakistan High Commissioner official Mehmood Akhtar was apprehended by Indian authorities for allegedly indulging in anti-India activities. He was declared persona non grata on October 28.