India expels Pakistan embassy officials for allegedly carrying out espionage

Pakistan embassy IndiaIndia has expelled two officials at the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi, after they were allegedly caught with fake Indian identity papers while trying to acquire classified documents. But the Pakistani government has rejected the allegations and subsequent expulsions as “a part of persistent anti-Pakistan propaganda” from India, and said the two officials were tortured while under detention by Indian authorities.

The expulsion orders followed the arrest of three Pakistani citizens, who were identified as Abid Hussain, 42, Tahir Khan, 44, and Javed Hussain. The Times of India said Abid Hussain had been working at the Pakistani embassy’s visa issuance department since late 2018. Khan was “an upper division clerk” at the embassy and arrived in India at around the same time Abid Hussain did, said the paper. Javed Hussain has been working as a driver at the embassy since 2015, and was reportedly released by the Indian authorities after he was found not to have been implicated in the alleged espionage.

The Times cited unnamed sources in New Delhi in claiming that the three Pakistanis had been arrested by Indian police at an undisclosed location in the Indian capital’s centrally located Karol Bagh neighborhood. The men were reportedly there to receive “highly sensitive information” by unnamed Indian “defense personnel”. Javed Hussain and Khan were reportedly found to be carrying Indian identification cards bearing fake names. They also had in their possession what the newspaper called “incriminating documents”, two smartphones and 15,000 rupees, which equal to around $200.

On Sunday, India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Javed Hussain and Khan had been declared “persona non grata” and had been ordered to leave the country within 24 hours. The reason for their expulsion was “indulging in activities incompatible with their status as members of a diplomatic mission”. The phrase is used in the international legal vernacular to describe an accredited diplomat engaging in intelligence operations abroad without the consent of his or her host nation. The Ministry also said that it had summoned the Pakistani ambassador and issued him with a “strong protest” about the incident.

The Indian government said late on Sunday that it was investigating whether other Pakistani embassy officials had been engaging in espionage. Diplomatic observers expressed certainty last night that Islamabad would expel at least two Indian diplomats from the country in a tit-for-tat response to India’s move.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 01 June 2020 | Permalink

2 Responses to India expels Pakistan embassy officials for allegedly carrying out espionage

  1. Pete says:

    A tit-for-tat Pakistani expulsion of 2 or 3 Indian “diplomats” is sure to follow soon.

  2. Pete says:

    So here’s an update on Pakistani retaliation to India expelling 2 Pakistani High Commission officials. India’s Deccan Herald reports June 5, https://www.deccanherald.com/national/indian-diplomats-in-pakistan-harassed-845845.html

    “India has lodged a complaint with Pakistan after its diplomats were harassed by the agents of the [Pakistan’s] military spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Islamabad [Pakistan]. New Delhi lodged the complaint after the ISI agents on bikes aggressively followed the official car of India’s acting envoy to Pakistan, Gaurav Ahluwalia, on the streets of Islamabad. The ISI agents also surrounded the residential complex of the officials of the High Commission of India in the diplomatic enclave of the capital of Pakistan – apparently, in a bid to intimidate them, sources said in New Delhi.]

    Comment: Pakistan would already by aware that 1/3rd to a half of India’s High Commission personnel are likely to have intelligence functions. The 2 countries are in constant confrontation so there would be few “glad-handing nicety” diplomats.

    The intelligence officers (IOs) from RAW ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_and_Analysis_Wing ) would likely go “quiet” (not meet their contacts) for the next few weeks/months. IOs and contacts certainly don’t want to be caught red-handed by the ISI or by Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau in this high state of tension.

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