Investigators have accused the men of engaging in espionage and both have been declared persona non grata.
Delhi Police Special Cell on Sunday detained two individuals employed in the Pakistan High Commission as visa officers. They have been identified as Abid Hussain and Tahir Khan, both ISI operatives. A third person identified as Javed Hussain, a resident of Pakistan, has also been detained.
Initial inputs suggest that both of the individuals were caught engaging in espionage. They are being interrogated by the Delhi Police Special Cell and other agencies.
Sources say that investigators had an eye on the duo based on intelligence inputs. Abid Hussain and Tahir Khan were detained from Karol Bagh on Sunday morning where they were meeting a person to obtain documents pertaining to information on Indian security installations and were caught red-handed giving the person Rs 15,000 in cash and an iPhone in exchange for the documents. Javed Hussain was also present at the spot.
Initially, Abid and Tahir claimed to be Indian citizens and produced fake Aadhaar cards but admitted to their stations at the Pakistan High Commission during interrogation.
Abid, 42, is resident of Shekhpura in Pakistan’s Punjab province while 44-year-old Tahir is resident of Islamabad. Javed Hussain, on the other hand, hails from Bhakkar in Pakistan.
Both Tahir and Abid have been declared persona non grata. They have been directed to leave the country within 24 hours.
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.
In an official statement, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Sunday. The statement read, “Pakistan condemns the Indian action of declaring Pakistan High Commission Staff member as Persona Non Grata (PNG).”
The statement by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry went even further to claim, “The Indian action has been accompanied by a negative pre-planned and orchestrated media campaign, which is a part of persistent anti-Pakistan propaganda. Two staff members of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi were lifted by the Indian authorities today (31 May 2020) on false and unsubstantiated charges. They were, however, released on intervention by the High Commission. We condemn the detention and torture as well as threatening and pressuring of the diplomatic officials to accept false charges.”
Pakistan’s Diplomatic Corps has been 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. Reports have also hinted at Pakistani officials deployed in neighbouring diplomatic missions like Sri Lanka, indulging in anti-India subversive activity.
Earlier, a similar espionage racket was busted in October 2016 when a staffer of Pakistan High Commission was nabbed by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch.
Source: India Today