Pakistani high commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar, who was recently expelled by India for spying, had named 16 other “staffers” who were also allegedly involved in the espionage ring.
Akhtar has claimed that these members of the diplomatic mission were in touch with spies for extracting sensitive information and documents pertaining to army and BSF deployment.
His claims, if true, may prompt the police to write to the Ministry of External Affairs to take the matter forward.
Pak High Commission official Mehmood Akhtar who was detained by Delhi Police crime branch over espionage charges. pic.twitter.com/zl6bbECOk4Advertisement
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 27, 2016
If such is the case then one thing is crystal clear that Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has become an “ISI den.”
According to BJP’s national secretary Shrikant Sharma, the High Commission is breaking all rules and laws. “Its work is no longer about diplomatic relationship. It has become a centre of smuggling information from here to there (Pakistan),” he said.
He said Centre had taken note of it and appropriate action would be taken.
Meanwhile, India and Pakistan are bracing for another showdown, as four High Commission officials — commercial counsellor Syed Farrukh Habib and first secretaries Khadim Hussain, Mudassir Cheema and Shahid Iqbal — named by Mehmood Akhtar, may have to leave India.
Before his expulsion, Akhtar in a videotaped statement to police, has named these officials as being part of the alleged spy ring.
However, Akhtar told Pakistani daily Dawn that he had given the statement under duress.
The newspaper has reported that Islamabad was considering pulling out the four officials.
Pakistan and India have in the past expelled each other’s diplomats and officials due to their tense relationship, but it is one of those rare occasions where one of the countries took the extreme step of revealing the identities of officers.
As expected, India feels that tit-for-tat responses may lead to Pakistan claiming that three-four Indian diplomats posted in that country were intelligence officials.
The Pakistan High Commission, in the meantime, is learnt to have asked South Block to ensure security and safety of its diplomats and their families. “Such naming of diplomats in public, without proper investigation, jeopardises their safety and that of their families,” a Pakistan diplomat said.