QUETTA: Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti in a press briefing on Thursday announced the arrest of six “Afghan spies” from the province’s Pishin area.
Bugti claimed the arrested spies were involved in subversive activities in the province, including targeted killings. The provincial minister lashed out at Afghan intelligence agency – National Directorate of Security – for deceiving Pakistan.
- Paid Rs 80,000 per bombing
- Paid Rs 250,000 per assassination
- Logistical and financial support provided by Afghan NDS
- Three NDS generals were running the operations
“What is the Afghan intelligence doing with Pakistan?”
Bugti stated the spies were paid Rs 80,000 per bombing, and received a much higher sum of Rs 250,000 for carrying out a targeted attack on an individual.
Shedding light on the NDS's handlers responsible for running the spies, Bugti named three NDS generals, one of whom is now retired.
"General Naeem Baloch, General Momin and General Malik are the handlers of the network, and General Malik has retired now."
He elaborated that the generals were providing financial and logistical support to the spies with the aim of spreading chaos in Balochistan, and Pakistan as a whole.
Replying to a question, the home minister stated that it is the responsibility of the Foreign Office now to raise the issue with Afghan government.
Bugti stated that Pakistan wants to foster brotherly relations with Afghanistan, but if the NDS continues with its subversive activities, then it would be very hard to do so.
The home minister also cautioned the Afghan president on the occasion to control his intelligence service, stating that relations between the two countries can deteriorate of such activities continue.
'Afghan refugees need to leave'
Bugti stated during the press conference that the time has come for the Afghan refugees to leave and return to their homeland.
He said Pakistan had housed refugees from across the border with “utmost respect” but added that it was time that “they go back to their homeland”.
"We have had enough. Either the Afghan refugees can return voluntarily with respect and dignity, or the people of Balochistan can humiliate them and throw them out of the country," thundered Bugti.
The minister added and said, "In our opinion, law and order is suffering because of them (Afghan refugees), and the NDS and RAW are using them to destabilise Pakistan, by destabilising Balochistan."
"NDS is a satellite organisation of RAW, and a very close nexus exists between the two."
Bugti also blamed Nadra for its failure in failing to curb the issuance of fake identity cards to illegal Afghan aliens, lamenting that such activities lead to an increase in terror activities, but also appreciated recent efforts in blocking fake identity cards.
The minister was accompanied by officials of the Frontier Corps (FC), with confessional videos of the alleged spies were shown to the media personnel present. All the confessions were in Pushto, except one, which was in Farsi.
Second major spy bust
The capture of the alleged Afghan spies is the second major counter-intelligence bust in the province of Balochistan.
Earlier in March, law enforcement agencies announced the arrest of Jadhav during an intelligence-based raid in Balochistan's Chaman.
The Indian Foreign Ministry also confirmed the arrested man was a former Indian Navy officer, but the Pakistani government claimed to have recovered travel documents and multiple fake identities of Jadhav, establishing him as an Indian spy who entered into Balochistan through Iran — holding a valid Iranian visa.
Jadhav was shifted to Islamabad for interrogation, during which an unnamed official said the spy revealed that he had purchased boats at the Iranian port in Chabahar in order to target Karachi and Gwadar ports in a terrorist plot. The official had said the 'RAW agent' is believed to be expert at Naval fighting techniques.
After Jadhav's arrest, Pakistan summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to lodge a strong protest over 'India's spying activities' in Balochistan and Karachi.
Following revelations by the Indian spy, security was tightened across Balochistan, especially at the shared borders with Iran and Afghanistan.