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Eight Indian ‘undercover agents’ named

Updated Nov 03, 2016 02:03pm


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ISLAMABAD: In information leaked to the media, the identity of eight Indian officers and staffers believed to be undercover operatives and posted at the country’s high commission was made public on Wednesday.

The alleged Indian intelligence personnel, whose cover was blown in the media leak, are Rajesh Kumar Agnihotri (posted as commercial counsellor); Balbir Singh (posted as first secretary, press and culture); Anurag Singh (working as first secretary, commercial), Amardeep Singh Bhatti (visa attache); Dhar­medra, Vijay Kumar Verma and Madhavan Nanda Kumar (visa assistants); and Jayabalan Senthil (assistant, personnel welfare office). The media leak claimed that the officials were working either for RAW or for the Indian Intelligence Bureau.

No Foreign Office official was available to confirm the media leak — which began with the electronic media — or give its details.

Posting of undercover officers is a routine practice in inter-state relations.

Editorial: India must explain

The revealed Indian agents, according to the information leaked to the media, were, however, found to be involved in subversive activities, including attempts to disrupt the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and create fear and chaos in the country. They are also alleged to be building a network of informants within Pakistan and fabricating evidence for tarnishing the country’s image abroad.

Media leak claims intelligence men posted at embassy

It is expected that these agents would be declared persona non-grata by Pakistani authorities in the coming days or India would withdraw them.

Responding to media queries in New Delhi, a spokesman for the Indian external affairs ministry, Vikas Swarup, declined to comment on the future of the agents whose identities had been exposed.

The leak that took the confrontation between the two countries to a new peak came after Pakistan was forced to pull out six of its officers and staff posted at the high commission in New Delhi because of Indian allegations that four diplomats were working for Pakistani intelligence services.

The withdrawn officers and staffers reached Lahore on Wednesday.

The leak about Indian undercover agents is one of the most significant exposé relating to undercover agents since the US Central Intelligence Agency was forced to pull out its station chief Jonathan Banks in December 2010 after his identity was revealed in a law suit by victims of drone attacks.

In 2010, an Indian undercover set-up was also partially revealed after India arrested one of its own high commission officers for working for the ISI.

Never before has the cover of such a large number of agents been blown in one instance.

Security agencies earlier this year captured a serving RAW officer, Kulbushan Jadhav, in Balochistan, which is seen as the most important intelligence catch so far.

The blowing of cover of Indian agents may serve as a temporary intelligence setback for Delhi.

India last week sparked the latest controversy in its strained ties with Pakistan when it detained one of the Pakistani mission’s staffers, Mehmood Akhtar, and coerced him to name four of the diplomats as spies. The recorded statement of Mr Akhtar, who was later dismissed from India, was played on Indian media, compromising the security of Pakistani personnel at the Delhi mission.

Mr Akhtar insists that he was forced into identifying the diplomats as intelligence agents.

The relationship between the two countries has been worsening since the start of the ongoing uprising in India-held Kashmir, which Delhi blames on Pakistan.

The developments suggest that the bilateral ties are set to deteriorate further.

Published in Dawn November 3rd, 2016


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Comments (32) Closed

Shakeel Nov 03, 2016 07:43am

Craziness at the peak

Chintu Nov 03, 2016 07:50am

@Shakeel absolutely !!!

Ahmad Nov 03, 2016 07:58am

All TIT FOR TAT going on.. USA and CHINA would be laughing loud after seeing stupidity by both neighbours

Hope. Nov 03, 2016 08:02am

Congratulations India you started it and left Pakistan with no choice but to pay you back with the same coin. When will you act mature, because its a shame a country 6 times bigger hoplessely clueless to have peace in S.E Asia. Thou shall respect to earn respect.

Jawad Asif Nov 03, 2016 08:03am

Gud job !!!

Dr. Khan Nov 03, 2016 08:08am

It is good but we have to come out of this sentiment of tit for tat

Farhan Nov 03, 2016 08:09am

Making them public is violation of diplomatic norms and this can be security concern to their lives.

Khan Nov 03, 2016 08:13am

Thanks god both have realised there's no room for reconciliation until kashmir is solved. No more drama and aman ki aasha

Amer Nov 03, 2016 08:16am

Just keep on behaving like school kids

Shehzad Nov 03, 2016 08:19am

It may be an untrue story(leak), but we cannot totally throw it out of the window after a careful analysis of the past. India doesn't want china on its west and more importantly Pakistan progressing. India has always been a hyper-EMOTIONAL, angry and unsatisfied wife. Meanwhile pakistan has stayed away from rational thinking too. But leaving everything ASIDE, the late response to kulbhushan yadav wasn't a great move EITHer. Coercion and blaming mehmood akhtar for espionage was a move to get international attention. So, its just a tit for TAT..

Zak Nov 03, 2016 08:30am

Better late than never, but my concern is did we have to wait for india to expel our diplomat for us to release this data and expel them ?

taimoor khan Nov 03, 2016 08:34am

Well done but we expect more vigilance and action.

blue saffron Nov 03, 2016 08:52am

Only eight ? what about the thousands more operating on pakistani soil ?

Zakir Ali Afghani Nov 03, 2016 09:29am

there are hundreds of spies from multiple countries trying to get INTELLIGENCE.

however in case of india-pak this is only tit for tat reaction without any substance on the ground.

DJ Nov 03, 2016 10:17am

This is the true face of our beloved NEIGHBOR who is always proclaiming pakistan is the factory of terrorists.shame on you.

Asif Nov 03, 2016 10:26am

Let's stop our missions in each other's countries. We do not need business with each other and stop dealing. Pakistan is an alean country to India and so India is to pakistan. Will save tax payers money.

Muhammad Arshad Nov 03, 2016 10:27am

good one

Shariq Nov 03, 2016 10:33am

If they are guilty give them proper punishment & make an example set for others who think they deceive us easily

Raaz Nov 03, 2016 10:37am

@Zak well said!

Zok 2 Rista & AiL Daan Nov 03, 2016 11:00am

Disclosure of identity unless proven is against diplomatic norms.

asif Nov 03, 2016 11:10am

@Shehzad lol really??

gulshan Nov 03, 2016 11:16am

@ZAK, you are right , Does Pak have to expel indian diplomats only after India expels Pak diplomats with solid evidence and no of Indians also arrested as involved in espionage with Akhtar controlling visa office of pak embassy.

Azad Kashmiri Nov 03, 2016 11:23am

@Dr. Khan says who? Why?

Pakistani Nov 03, 2016 12:14pm

Crazy stuff

kanwarch Nov 03, 2016 12:22pm

indians started it and it will never end unless kashmir issue is settled. Indians should open their eyes and agree to talk so this can be SETTLED otherwise things will continue like this. Indians are behaving like a bully but this attitude never works not against pakistan at least.

Black Diesel Nov 03, 2016 12:40pm

@Hope. good comment salam

changez_khan Nov 03, 2016 01:44pm

Did not expect anything less from our eternal enemy who is always looking for ways to destabilize our nation, proactive search and neutralization operation should be carried out to cleanse our nation of any such spies and agents.

NaveedKhan Nov 03, 2016 01:47pm

There are other easier means to do espionage then getting your embassy staff involved in both countries. I don't see any improvement in their attitude in the next ten years

Monsieur S Nov 04, 2016 09:56pm

Why does Pakistan want Diplomatic relations with a country like India????

Nasheela Nov 05, 2016 01:52am

Good job in uncovering the undercover agents Quodos to our security services.

Ahmed Ali khan Nov 05, 2016 09:48am

Good job. Why I could not see that they are given an altimatum to leave the country in a day or so? Are they waiting for India to call back itself?

Ahmed Ali khan Nov 05, 2016 09:55am

@Zok 2 Rista & AiL Daan , they have been monitored for a long time then only the names were disclosed.