India on Tuesday declared Mohd Farooq, a driver with the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, as a persona non grata and asked him to leave the country, four days after he was caught allegedly receiving sensitive documents from an armyman.
The PHC was informed by the External Affairs Ministry that Farooq had been found indulging in activities 'incompatible' with his status and should be withdrawn, official sources told PTI.
Farooq has been asked to leave the country within a week, they said.
The government's decision comes four days after Farooq was caught by police in a south-west Delhi area allegedly receiving 'sensitive' documents from armyman Anil Kumar.
After legal formalities, Farooq was handed over to the Pakistan High Commission soon after while Kumar, a Havaldar posted in Army's Group Insurance Scheme, was arrested. Farooq was expelled after the External Affairs Ministry received a report from Delhi Police, which concluded that he had been engaged in espionage activities.
Investigations by Delhi Police's Special Cell have found that Farooq had been in touch with Kumar for at least three months, sources said. His activities prior to that are being probed.
Significantly, the expulsion came less than a month ahead of the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks. Earlier in August, Pakistan expelled India's Visa Counsellor in Islamabad Deepak Kaul, claiming that he was engaged in espionage.
Kaul had been handcuffed and roughed up by Pakistani security personnel during his five-hour detention at an unknown place, triggering anger in India. India also expelled Pakistan's Counsellor (Political) Riaz Ahmed.