India’s seemingly hollow theatrics are taking a dangerous turn, as it detained a Pakistani High Commission staff member for “espionage activities”- a glaring violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention.

The Indian foreign secretary summoned Pakistani ambassador to India, Abdul Basit, to inform him that the staffer has been declared persona non grata for espionage activities, Vikas Swarap said in a tweet.

As is the protocol for framing an innocent man for espionage, Delhi police insists that the official had been in possession of defence and other documents. The documents apparently included information on deployment of India’s border security forces, so were conveniently found lying around with the poor Pakistani man being harassed by the Indian authorities. Such desperate clutching of straws is distasteful to say the least; in the absence of something as horrific as a terrorist attack for the Indian side to pin on Pakistan, it now resorts to manhandling our staffers.

This provocation is the latest in a string of border violations as five Pakistani civilians sustained injuries on Thursday, as Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire across the working boundary. The “intense and heavy” exchange of fire continued for 11 hours in Harpal and Chaprar sectors. Three days earlier, two innocent people, including a one-year-old child were killed and seven others injured in firing by Indian troops.

For the third time in less than two weeks, the Indian deputy high commissioner was summoned to the Foreign Office, where the South Asia and SAARC Director General lodged a protest over ceasefire violations by BSF in the Chaprar and Harpal sectors and along the Line of Control. But it seems that India has a more antagonistic approach in mind, rather than taking the high road of sustained dialogue and peace. Pakistan is well capable of responding in kind, but realises that such an approach will only cause mass destruction for both sides.