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Cash glare on Nepal Pak mission

Kathmandu, Aug. 24 (PTI): Nepal has expelled a Pakistan embassy official recently caught with fake Indian currency even as Delhi drew Kathmanduís attention to the ďunnecessaryĒ staff strength of Islamabadís mission here.

A special police team had nabbed Mohammed Masood, an upper division clerk, on August 18 at a restaurant in Nayabaneshwor here after he allegedly tried to pay the bill with fake money. He was found carrying fake Indian currency worth Rs 45,000.

The foreign ministry yesterday summoned Pakistan ambassador Zamin Akram and told him that Masood had 72 hours to leave Nepal.

Appreciating the governmentís action, Indian ambassador Shyam Saran drew Kathmanduís attention to the large number of employees in Pakistanís mission here, an Indian embassy source said.

Saran is said to have pointed out in his letter that there were only six staffers in Nepalís embassy in Islamabad and questioned the logic behind Pakistan posting 30 people ó most of whom had little work to do ó in its embassy in Kathmandu.

According to the source, Saran also wrote that the Pakistan employees had been involved in carrying RDX and dealing in counterfeit currency since 1998.

Pakistan embassyís Siraj Ahmed Siraj was nabbed with fake currency during the 11th Saarc summit last January.

In December 2001, a senior Pakistan diplomat, Mohammed Arshad Cheema, was arrested with a consignment of 16 kg RDX.

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