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Defence-related espionage racket: India asks Pak high commission staffer to leave with family within 48 hrs Live

The Staffer Was Found In Possession Of Some Secret Defence-related Documents Following A Tip-off.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Kanishk Sharma | Updated on: 27 Oct 2016, 04:45:26 PM

New Delhi:

Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit on Thursday protested with Foreign Secretary Jaishankar at "detention & manhandling of Pakistan High Commissioner staffer on Wednesday in violation of 1961 Vienna Convention."

Basit also asked Indian Government "to ensure that such harassment should not happen in future."
Basit "denied accusations of Indian Government", saying Pak HC never engages in activity that is incompatible with its diplomatic status."

A Pakistan high commission staffer was detained on Wednesday after he was found in possession of defence-related documents while two others were arrested on espionage charges, police said on Thursday.

Live updates:

Pakistan High Commission staffer given 48 hours to leave India.

# Delhi Court has sent two Pak ISI operatives caught by Delhi Police Crime Branch to 12 days of police custody.

# Pakistan says charges against its diplomatic official "false and unsubstantiated".

# Pakistan condemns Indian action of declaring Pakistan High Commission Staff member as Persona Non Grata (PNG)

# "We reject the Indian allegations and deplore the Indian action which was indeed a violation of the Vienna Convention as well as the norms of diplomatic conduct especially in an already vitiated atmosphere. Pakistan High Commission has always been working within the parameters of international law and diplomatic norms. This act clearly reflects Indian actions to shrink diplomatic space for the working of Pakistan High Commission," says Pakistan in a press release on Thursday.

# Pakistan High Commission staffer asked to leave india over espionage charges.

# According to sources, Pak HC staffer Mehmood Akhtar used to give cash range between Rs 2,000 to Rs 2 Lakh to his ISI agents.

Following a tip-off by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) sleuths, Delhi Police Crime Branch took the staffer named Mehmood Akhtar, 35, in custody.

Akthar was released from Chanakyapuri police station after questioning as he enjoys diplomatic immunity. 

The Crime Branch also arrested two persons, residents of Rajasthan, for allegedly passing on sensitive information to Akhtar.

The detained staffer initially tried to mislead officials by saying that he is an Indian citizen and also showed his Aadhaar card, ANI quoted Delhi Police officer Ravindra Yadav as saying. 

Police said that Mehmood was a havildar in Baloch regiment of the Pakistan Army. He was later hired by the Inter-Services Intelligence and was placed in the visa department of the high commission office. 

Police said that the three accused were carrying out their activities for the past one-and-half years. The trio was being watched by the intelligence sleuths for the past six months. 

"The spies are working for Pakistan's ISI. They were in touch with Akhtar and were providing sensitive information," said a senior police officer.

Those arrested have been identified as Maulana Ramzan and Subhash Jangir.

The detention came a day after Pakistan summoned Indian deputy high commissioner to Islamabad for alleged ceasefire violation along the Working Boundary and the Line-of-Control (LoC). This was the second day in a row when an Indian envoy was summoned by the neighbouring country over such allegations.

Abdul Basit summoned

Akhtar's detention prompted the ministry of external affairs to summon Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit to seek explaination in this regard.

Read: Pak summons Indian envoy over ceasefire violation for second day in a row

India and Pakistan have been at odds over the Kashmir issue ever since their independence, fighting two of their three wars over the Himalayan region. 

Tensions have escalated sharply between New Delhi and Islamabad following the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army to destroy terrorist launch pads along the Line of Control and inflicted significant casualties. Pakistan has denied such a strike had taken place but vowed to retaliate against any Indian aggression.

Read: One BSF Personnel dies in ceasefire violation by Pak in J&K 

The raid by the army was a direct response to a militant attack on an army camp in Uri that left 19 soldiers dead.

(With inputs from agencies)

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First Published : 27 Oct 2016, 10:42:00 AM