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Wednesday, 5 January, 2000, 12:18 GMT
Nepal expels Pakistani diplomat

100 rupee note The allegations involved Indian currency deals


Nepal has ordered the expulsion of a Pakistani diplomat allegedly involved in counterfeit currency dealings.

The Nepalese Foreign Ministry said Asim Saboor, the assistant secretary at the Pakistani mission in Kathmandu, had been ordered to leave within 72 hours.

A statement said: "Asim Saboor was involved in acts incompatible with his status. He was therefore was ordered to leave Kathmandu."

Nepalese police took Mr Saboor into custody on Monday following a raid on his residence.

They say they are questioning him about his possible involvement in a counterfeit Indian currency deal.

Police sources claim they have caught Mr Saboor in the act of conducting a transaction with the fake money.

He is alleged to have been in possession of counterfeit Indian banknotes worth about $1,150.

The Pakistani embassy refused to agree to a Nepalese request to waive Mr Saboor's diplomatic immunity.

The embassy says the police raid was carried out without a proper search warrant and that no evidence against Mr Saboor was found.

According to the BBC's Sushil Sharma in Kathmandu, local analysts say the expulsion coincides with Indian allegations that Pakistani intelligence services are using Nepal as a base against India.

India stepped up the allegations following the last month's hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane which took off from Kathmandu.

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