NEW DELHI, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- India announced plans to deport a staff member from the Pakistani Embassy after he was accused of using his consular position to lead a spy ring, a move that will likely heighten tensions between the squabbling nations.
Police said Mehmood Akhtar, who worked in the visa section of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, was detained during a planned rendezvous near the Dehli zoo, where he was to recieve information about Indian military deployment in exchange for money. Police said they found forged documents, lists of army officers stationed at the Pakistani-India border and maps showing Indian troop deployments.
"At first Akhtar said he is an Indian citizen and produced a biometric identity card with a local address," Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of Delhi police, said. "After sustained interrogation, we found that it was a forged card and that he began working in the Pakistan High Commission in India two-and-a-half years ago."
The Pakistani foreign ministry said a staff member had been held for 3 hours before being returned to the embassy.
"This act clearly reflects Indian actions to shrink diplomatic space for the working of the Pakistan High Commission," officials said.
Tension between the two countries has been ongoing for more than 60 years, but warmed slightly after meetings between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took office in 2014, and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif. In mid-September, relations took a downward turn when India alleged Pakistan-supported militants conducted a raid that left 19 Indian soldiers dead.