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Friday, 13 April, 2001, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
Nepal expels Pakistan diplomat
Mohammad Arshad Chima (right) is led away
First Secretary Chima (right) was arrested on Thursday
Nepal has expelled a senior Pakistani diplomat in connection with the seizure of a large amount of explosives in the capital, Kathmandu.

First Secretary Mohammad Arshad Chima and his wife had been detained on Thursday following a police raid on a private house, in which 16kg of explosives were recovered.

The Pakistani embassy in Kathmandu protested at the detention, saying Mr Chima and his wife were being framed.

Mr Chima is the second Pakistani diplomat to be expelled from Nepal in a year.

Explosives found

He and his wife were arrested when police raided the house where the explosives were found.

It is evident that elements hostile to Pakistan-Nepal friendship are responsible for this unfortunate episode

Pakistan embassy
The Pakistani diplomat was on the premises at the time.

A spokesman for the Nepalese Foreign Ministry, Gyan Chandra Acharya, said Mr Chima's presence in the house was "incompatible with his diplomatic duties and inconsistent with international conventions".

Mr Acharya told the BBC that the Pakistani Government had assured Nepal that action would be taken against Mr Chima if investigations found him guilty.

Earlier, the Pakistani embassy protested at Mr Chima's detention and said the move violated international conventions.

"It is evident that elements hostile to Pakistan-Nepal friendship are responsible for this unfortunate episode," an official statement said, in what was seen as a veiled reference to India.

The embassy complained that it had been denied access to the couple, in violation of international diplomatic norms.

'Hostile' actions

Last year, Nepal expelled a Pakistani diplomat alleged to have been involved in dealing in counterfeit Indian currency.

In the past, Nepal has also arrested suspected Kashmiri militants in possession of explosives.

India alleges that Pakistani intelligence uses Nepal as a base to back Kashmiri militants and carry out subversive activities inside India.

Pakistan has denied the allegation.

The Nepalese authorities say they are determined to stop activities on their soil directed against any of the country's neighbours.

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See also:

05 Jan 00 | South Asia
Nepal expels Pakistani diplomat
02 Jan 01 | South Asia
Tourism decline in Nepal
10 Mar 01 | South Asia
India-Pakistan dialogue urged
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