Pakistan: Two Pakistan High Commission officials in Delhi caught spying, told to leave India in 48 hours

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NEW DELHI: India on Sunday declared two officials from Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi as persona-non-grata after they were caught spying by police officials in the capital. The suspects have been identified as Tahir Khan and Abid Hussain and were working as visa assistant at the High Commission in Chankyapuri.

The two were held while meeting their contact in Delhi during which they tried to extract information regarding Indian Army and Railways. The duo were keen on the recent dalit movement in India, sources said. While Tahir came to India in 2016, Abid joined last year as part of the visa facilitation teams. The two are suspected to be trained in intelligence gathering by Pakistan’s ISI.

Officials said that both Tahir and Abid have used fake identities in the past and came under the radar of intelligence agencies while talking to their contacts on mobile. After questioning, the two were declared PNG and were told to leave the country within 48 hours, officials added.

India is expecting a similar action against its officials posted at the high commission in Pakistan which may further escalate the relationship between two neighboring countries.

Those familiar with investigations told ET Tahir used to “proactively” scout for contacts in government establishments in Delhi. “He was actively pursuing officers and middle run employees luring with money and in some cases honey trap them using social media accounts. The details regarding Indian officials to be contacted were shared by his senior in Pakistan. Personal social media accounts of government officials in India were monitored closely,” said a senior police official.

Another modus operandi that was being used by the duo was to contact persons willing to travel to Pakistan and help them facilitate with the visa. Gullible people who visited embassy were profiled and lured to give information, said officials. In 2016, police busted a spy racket run by one Akhtar Mahmood, a Pakistani national who worked in the visa section of the High Commission in New Delhi.

Later during the day, MEA in a statement said, “Pakistan’s Charge de Affaires was issued a demarche in which a strong protest was lodged with regard to the activities of these officials of the High Commission of Pakistan against India’s national security. Pakistan’s Cd’A was asked to ensure that no member of its diplomatic mission should indulge in activities inimical to India or behave in a manner incompatible with their diplomatic status.”



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