Asia

Pakistan claims 8 India Embassy staff involved in espionage

An Indian municipal worker sweeps the road outside Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. Pakistan has reportedly pulled out six staff members from its High Commission in New Delhi. Troops from the two countries have regularly traded fire since last month, when India said it carried out "surgical strikes" against militants in the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir. Pakistan dismissed the claim and called on India to produce evidence to back it up. The tensions have also escalated at the government level, and last week each nation expelled a diplomat. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

An Indian municipal worker sweeps the road outside Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. Pakistan has reportedly pulled out six staff members from its High Commission in New Delhi. Troops from the two countries have regularly traded fire since last month, when India said it carried out "surgical strikes" against militants in the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir. Pakistan dismissed the claim and called on India to produce evidence to back it up. The tensions have also escalated at the government level, and last week each nation expelled a diplomat. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)  (The Associated Press)

Pakistan's foreign ministry spokesman says eight Indian diplomats at the Indian Embassy in Islamabad were part of what Pakistan claims is a spying network in the mission.

Nafees Zakaria says the eight intended to create "instability" in Pakistan.

He also told reporters on Thursday that Pakistan recalled six diplomats from New Delhi, saying the move was because their names were leaked to the media, endangering their life.

Zakaria did not say whether Pakistan would expel the eight men. India could also withdraw them following the accusations.

The developments come after nuclear archrivals Pakistan and India each expelled an embassy staffer from the other country for spying.

The diplomatic row is part of an India-Pakistan escalation amid tensions over the contested region of Kashmir, which both countries claim in its entirety.