Afghanistan's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, had detailed two staffers at the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul, prompting Islamabad to lash out at its neighbour for what it called was a violation of the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations.
This convention spells out the privileges that diplomats are entitled to when they are posted in other countries to allow them to work freely. The development comes at a time when Pakistan faces accusations of violation of another Vienna Convention that enables countries get access to their citizens arrested abroad. India has gone to the International Court of Justice against a Pakistani military court handing out a death sentence to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav and refusing to let Indian officials meet him as mandated under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
According to a report in Dawn, the two embassy staffers, Hassan Khanzada and Syed Munir Shah, were at a market when they were picked up by NDS officers and taken to one of their detention centres along with the embassy's official vehicle.
Khanzada is a visa assistant at the embassy, and Syed Munir Shah, a staff driver.
The Dawn report said the two were released after three hours after the Pakistan embassy complained to the Afghan Foreign Ministry.
In a statement, Pakistan's foreign office said Afghan deputy head of mission Zardasht Shams was summoned to the Foreign Office in Pakistan to lodge Islamabad's protest over the incident in which two diplomatic officials in Kabul were detained, reportedly by Afghan security agencies".
"It was emphasised that such incidents undermined the constructive engagement which the two countries envisaged for strengthening of bilateral ties," the statement said.