India on Tuesday withdrew three staff members of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad who were accused of being involved in subversive activities in Pakistan.
"Three of the eight officials have returned to India today," a diplomatic source told The Express Tribune. "A decision regarding the remaining five officials is yet to be taken," the source added.
Pakistan may expel two Indian diplomats in Islamabad for spying
Last week, Pakistan busted a network of Indian spies ‘working under diplomatic cover’. Official documents seen by The Express Tribune revealed that at least eight staffers of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad had been identified as serving officers of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and India’s Intelligence Bureau (IB).
The latest spat started after Indian police last week detained a staff member of Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi for questioning over espionage charges. Mahmood Akhtar, who was working as a visa officer at the Pakistani High Commission, was later expelled from India.
Eight Indian spies masquerading as diplomats outed
In what appeared to be a tit for tat move, Pakistan on Thursday confirmed that eight officials posted in India’s High Commission in Islamabad were agents of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB). The disclosure left New Delhi with no other options but to withdraw the named officials.
An official with knowledge of latest developments squarely blamed India for the escalation in tensions. The official, who requested to speak off the record so that he could talk freely on the subject, told The Express Tribune that India had breached an ‘understanding’ by revealing the identities of certain Pakistani officials posted in New Delhi. The official said both sides knew that certain officials worked under cover and they did so with the full knowledge of host country.
Meanwhile, speaking at his weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria confirmed that eight Indian staff members of the country’s high commission belonged to RAW and IB.
FO reveals list of 8 Indian 'undercover agents' involved in subversive activities
They were identified as Rajesh Kumar Agnihotir, commerical counselor and RAW station chief, Anurag Singh, first commercial secretary, Amerdeep Singh Bhatti, attache visa, Dharmendra Sodhi, staff member, Vijay Kumar Verma, staff, Madhavan Nanda Kumar, staff, Balbir Singh, first secretary press and information, IB station chief and Jayabalan Senthil, assistant personnel welfare officer.
Zakaria said they had been found involved in coordinating terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan under the garb of diplomatic assignments.
The detailed chargesheet against them includes espionage, subversion and supporting of terrorist activities in Balochistan and Sindh, especially in Karachi, sabotaging CPEC, creating unrest in G-B, expanding network of their operatives under the garb of commercial activities, leveraging their position as diplomats for ingress into influential circles to gather inside information, damaging Pakistan-Afghanistan relations with a variety of activities, infiltrating Indian agents into social, media and political circles for propaganda purposes and activities detrimental to Pakistan’s interests, fabricating evidences to portray Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, handling factions of TTP, instigating religious minorities, fueling sectarianism and maligning Pakistan with propaganda on human rights issues, carrying out activities in AJK detrimental to the Kashmir cause and misleading international community about indigenous movement for self-determination in IOK.
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