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 Friday, 24 January, 2003, 11:34 GMT
Expelled diplomats on way back
Pakistani troops stand guard at Wagah on the closed border with India
The border between India and Pakistan is closed
Indian and Pakistani officials expelled from each others countries this week in a tit-for-tat exchange are on their way home.

The mutual expulsions mark a renewed deterioration in relations between the two countries

Adam Mynott, BBC Correspondent
Reports say that the diplomats will fly back to their respective capitals via Dubai in the United Arab Emirates because there are no direct flights between India and Pakistan.

Both countries had accused the officials of unbecoming conflict - usually shorthand for spying.

According to the BBC's Adam Mynott the mutual expulsions mark a renewed deterioration in relations between the two countries.

Harassment

The expulsions came after India's top diplomat in Islamabad, Sudhir Vyas, complained that he was being subjected to "aggressive surveillance" while going about his official duties.

Pakistani High Commission in Delhi
Pakistan called Delhi's expulsions "harsh"
He had complained that he had been prevented from leaving his residence and his mission car boxed in while travelling to official diplomatic engagements.

Pakistan had also complained to the Indian Government that its officials were being harassed in Delhi.

India and Pakistan regularly expel each others diplomats, but since the two nuclear powers came close to war last summer over the disputed territory of Kashmir tensions between the countries had been easing.

The bulk of the soldiers amassed by both countries along their mutual border have now been pulled back.

But according to our correspondent the expulsions have rendered the possibility of talks between India and Pakistan even more unlikely than it already was.

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"They are packing their bags and preparing to leave"
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23 Jan 03 | South Asia
22 Jan 03 | South Asia
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20 Jan 03 | South Asia
13 Jan 03 | South Asia
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