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Names of three Indian nationals emerge in retired Army officer's disappearance: local media

Updated Apr 18, 2017 09:57am

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Names of three Indian nationals emerged on Monday in connection with the mysterious disappearance of Lt Col Habib Zahir, a former Pakistan Army officer who went missing in Nepal earlier this month, local media reported.

Three Indian nationals were found to be responsible for booking Zahir's air ticket, hotel accommodation and receiving the former officer at the airport, media reports said.

Safal Chaudhry, an Indian national, bought an air ticket for Zahir from Kathmandu. Similarly, an Indian woman Sabu Rajora, booked accommodation for Zahir in an upscale hotel in Kathmandu, sources said.

Rajora reportedly works as a marketing manager in Kathmandu.

The Foreign Office had earlier said that the role of foreign intelligence agencies cannot be ruled out in the disappearance of the retired Army officer.

Lt Col Zahir, who retired from the army in 2014, went missing on April 6 from Lumbini, a Buddhist pilgrimage site close to the Indian border, where he arrived after somebody by the name of Mark Thompson had contacted him via email and telephone for a job interview in Nepal.

It was reported that a probe by the officer’s family and friends showed that the UK telephone number from which he had received the call for the interview was computer generated, while the email domain and its associated website were registered in India. This prompted concerns that the Indian spy agency RAW could have been behind the kidnapping.

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Comments (75) Closed



Armchair revolutionary Apr 17, 2017 08:28pm

It definitely is. I hope Government of Pakistan will not be blackmailed by India by this kind of coward acts.

Sim Apr 17, 2017 08:32pm

So this is wot sushma sawaraj had in mind while saying "we would go out of the way to undone kalbhushan death warrent"?? ...must say ...cheap tactics...

DIL Apr 17, 2017 08:35pm

India can't use him as tit for tat move and portray him as Pakistani spy caught on India-Nepal border and demand Yahdav's release since this news has been circulating on the media for quite sometime now but they can defiantly use him to pressurize Pakistan and use him as the tool for behind the door diplomacy.

Afzaal Apr 17, 2017 08:36pm

This case should be tackled seriously by the Pakistan mission in Nepal and the Nepalese intelligence if there is one.

Tariq Apr 17, 2017 08:45pm

The problem nepal acts like a colony of india.

sonu Apr 17, 2017 08:47pm

Very weak evidence. They may be travel agents who book tickets and accommodations for any traveller. Anyone can approach travel agents to book tickets & accommodations.

Chandra Apr 17, 2017 08:53pm

This is good intelligence it true, but it might be possible he sold of to other side, else how could a grade officer like him fall for such tricks which common people like me would not fall for...will wait for few more weeks or month to hear any revelation.

Indian Dawn Apr 17, 2017 09:12pm

This is responsibility of both Nepal and Pakistan, there is no other option

Mumbai Man Apr 17, 2017 09:16pm

Its time we end this spy vs spy game....

Azhar Apr 17, 2017 09:17pm

Pakistan has to immediately move a dossier at UN. This kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated

jayesh Apr 17, 2017 10:37pm

@sonu let them fool their public. what face they will show to their public that they are incapabale to solve the links also.

Pukudenguta Apr 18, 2017 12:04am

Squirm and whine, that's all you can do. Do not forget, other countries too have laws and armies and FGCM proviso with powers to award death penalty.

Pukudenguta Apr 18, 2017 12:06am

@Azhar If you promise to run to UN every time such a thing happens, I do not mind making you run to the UN every day for the next hundred years.

Abdulla Hussain Apr 18, 2017 12:21am

India really planned something big as a counter to Kulbushan but their dream fell apart because of timely discloser of disappearance of retired col. Habib.

logical Apr 18, 2017 12:31am

I must say its very cheap action done by India, if we have proper evidence, and I hope we have. The more India try to portray herslef as innocent, the more evil her face look like.

Samir lone Apr 18, 2017 12:55am

If true then shame on them as they have or supposedly have Muslim names. I wish this officer was more cautious, as Nepal has many RAW stooges within. Regardless, Kulbushan Jadhav will be hung. Attempts to do a swap will fail.

kubi Apr 18, 2017 01:03am

@Azhar yeah..1 more dossier..like the rest in the shredder at the UN. go ahead.

Observer Apr 18, 2017 01:10am

So what if you know the names? Write them in dossiers? As long as Doval has his hands on this man's neck, you will think twice before hanging Jadhav.

Abraham haque Apr 18, 2017 01:13am

@Sim yes we all know the every spy from every country is

arnav Apr 18, 2017 01:14am

Dear Reader,

The fact of the matter is that if this has actualy been the case that indian intel adbducted this pak fellow from Nepal, then indian intel must be given credit for carrying out a successful mission on foriegn soil, if this wasn't the case then pak intel must be given credit for creating a cocked up melodrama successfully . This is game being played between both these spy agencies & there appears no winner.

Saif zulfiqar Apr 18, 2017 01:20am

Now Jadhav is going to have more problems.

Zak Apr 18, 2017 01:28am

@Armchair revolutionary you will hear same story of Indian army personnel missing from Afghanistan soon. That's how the intelligence game works, the trick is never get caught in enemy territory. Kulbushan Jasdev was caught on pakistani soil. RAW lost.

alla bux Apr 18, 2017 01:59am

It more and more looks like this ISI officer has defected to India and will NEVER surface any where. Better keep track of his family before they too 'disappear'.

Gul Apr 18, 2017 02:01am

Lt Col Zahir was obviously not smart

Sdf Apr 18, 2017 02:08am

Keep living in denials but both sides use spies to harm each-other. What was he doing so close to Indian border? Lumbini is less than 5km from India.

DK Apr 18, 2017 03:38am

Why the heck he want to go to Buddhist shrine in Nepal and that too close to Indian border? Never heard before that Zakir went to Buddhist shrine.

Arsalan Apr 18, 2017 04:23am

I am sure their fake passports with alias names would be issued soon to corroborate the poorly under imagined plot.

Alba Apr 18, 2017 04:27am

@Mumbai Man .... Sorry, but military intelligence has a life of it's own.

Alba Apr 18, 2017 04:29am

@Azhar .... You have no proof that he is anything other than a tourist lost in Nepal.

Tom Apr 18, 2017 04:35am

But he isn't seeing the light of day..

Riz1 Apr 18, 2017 04:47am

We are seeing defections in the civilian side. After the tragiic state that we ate in today, is it so inconceivable that others would follow the same patterns

Salman Apr 18, 2017 04:57am

Looks like sushma_ the Indian minister is trying to get her way.

baba Apr 18, 2017 05:17am

So now travel agents are also involved in crime?? By this logic, taxi driver in Pakistan who drove him to airport, airport employees who facilitated him, airline who took him, and everyone involved in his service are also criminal. This is such a joke !!!

Akil Akhtar Apr 18, 2017 05:44am

India has been conspiring against Pakistan similarly since the beginning....

SANTOSH Apr 18, 2017 05:44am

If it is true why Pakistan government has not complained to Nepal govt thro Pakistan high commissioner in Nepal.

Waseem Apr 18, 2017 07:01am

Indian government failed!! Once again

Atticus from india Apr 18, 2017 07:19am

These clues must be followed.. if the names of Indian nationals are really known, then the passport numbers and identification is easy. OR this information was false.

Mohamed qureshi Apr 18, 2017 07:37am

It's simple.. Exchange Kulbhushan Jadhav for Lt. Col Habib Zahir. No Media.. Nothing. It has been done this way for years.

ga Apr 18, 2017 07:46am

Frankly, fed up of this nonsense between the two governments. Any Pakistanis and Indians with me on this?

Raj Apr 18, 2017 08:05am

@Azhar nobody listen u there...

Last word Apr 18, 2017 08:23am

Spying is a regular practice at international level. Even best friends and allies spy against each other which includes Germany, US, UK and others. However it is rare that death sentence is passed on alleged spies by any country. Pakistan has taken this extreme step and military court instead of civil court passing judgement is totally unacceptable to India. The former ISI Pak officer may be under custody of India. It makes sense for both countries to exchange them as relations between two countries are getting worse each passing day.

Sagar Apr 18, 2017 09:45am

What was the name of his taxi driver, pilot, hair dresser, waiter, coolie, Janitor, safai worker, cook? Wah! What a solid lead!

Raunak Apr 18, 2017 09:57am

@Zak ..He wasn't ... He was kidnapped from the Iranian soil my dear..

Raunak Apr 18, 2017 09:58am

@Saif zulfiqar ..What more problems than death? However Mr Habib seems to be in a real mess

Shiva_ling Apr 18, 2017 10:03am

Innumerable travel agencies in India & Nepal. Majority of them are Indians and will book tickets for anyone paying. How does this tie with a spy's disappearance in India?

Shiva_ling Apr 18, 2017 10:05am

@Saif zulfiqar Just as Lt.Col. I think we all need to take a step back and swap these unfortunate persons caught while doing their own business

Soch Apr 18, 2017 10:11am

I fear for the life of Army Officer Lt Col Habib Zahir. Pray that he is safe and there is some news on it soon.

optimistic Apr 18, 2017 10:25am

India has opened a new chapter of wrong doing. Now India will be facing the abduction of Indians working in Arab world, Iran and Afghanistan - Indians will face the consequences

J. J. Apr 18, 2017 10:40am

The Disappearing man must be crazy to travel to Kathmandu based on one computer generated mail! Maybe he went over to the other side?!

VENKAT Apr 18, 2017 11:03am

He is a retired Lt.Col of Pakistani army.Lumbini is hardly the kind of backwoods town that he would be looking for a job.Retire Pakistani lt.Cols can only be expected look out for high end jobs.One is hardly likely to find such jobs in a place that is reported.The place was also close to Indian border for easy cross over.Needs proper explanation.

Masoud Apr 18, 2017 11:28am

@Abdulla Hussain: True, If any harm is done to Col. Habib then India should be held responsible. This case should be raised in international forum to protect col. Habib.

adit Apr 18, 2017 11:33am

@Zak you conclude very early, wait a week.

Balakrishnan Apr 18, 2017 12:06pm

@Last word Both are said to be retired defence officers connected with their Intelligence agencies. The exact data difficult to get.

DK PAMNANI - INDIA Apr 18, 2017 12:15pm

@ga

Yes, I am with you and agree with your opinion

Muhammad zafar iqbal Apr 18, 2017 12:33pm

The officer has himself invited the trouble , it looks quite unwise that without having to know credentials and nature of job the comapay perform in foreign country he has gone there only having free air ticket and hotel accommodation.

Zak Apr 18, 2017 01:52pm

@SANTOSH who do you think is providing the reports about indian RAW movements.

Zak Apr 18, 2017 01:54pm

@Raunak then how was in A Baluch village and Iran has not complained of kidnapping on their soil. Iran intelligence is very good. Nope my dear, deny as much as you want, but he was caught in Baluchistan.

Zak Apr 18, 2017 01:54pm

@Raunak you are an indian in the 'denial' category.

Akshay Apr 18, 2017 02:55pm

Peace

Alka Apr 18, 2017 02:59pm

@Observer Excellently summed up whole matter in a simple sentence. This is check mate. Making hue and cry on media will serve only one purpose. It will unnecessarily raise the BP level of common readers.

Iftikhar Husain Apr 18, 2017 05:00pm

Now it is sure the work of Indian secret services Pakistan must go deep into this and get this solved.

Proud. To be indian Apr 19, 2017 02:33pm

@Sagar intelligence at its best

MURTAZA ali Apr 19, 2017 02:42pm

How much of more drama India will stage to hide its real face?Instead of shame of having a destablising and disrupting hand in Pakistan,they are trying to blackmail by dirty and immoral tricks.As soon as India annoces the abduction of col(rtd)Zahir,they will be exposed more clearly.Welldone Pakistan proceed and punish the proven serving naval officer of Indian army,involved in subverting activities in Pakistan.

splash Apr 19, 2017 03:20pm

@Zak wake up and smell the coffee.

zulfiqar ali Apr 19, 2017 04:37pm

what India wants to achieve from this kidnapping ?? this is clearly GUNDAGARDI and inhuman . imagine what would be happened if in a response Pakistan do the same with any Indian officer ? Kalbhushan is a spy and arrested from Baluchistan while this is planted kidnapping ..

Akram Apr 19, 2017 05:37pm

shall we all start kidnapping people from the other side, where does it end? how stupidly immature manner to resolve issues. I honestly believe children would provide a better solution.

Sony Apr 19, 2017 06:29pm

@ga I am with you 100 percent

secularist Apr 19, 2017 08:21pm

For all those who express shock and dismay, welcome to the ugly under belly of international diplomacy: sabotage, subversion and propaganda. There are no angles on either side.

J. Gamble Apr 19, 2017 09:28pm

@DK PAMNANI - INDIA -I don't.

My name Apr 20, 2017 02:26am

@Akil Akhtar :But Akil, it NEVER worked the other way, Right?

Uday Kulkarni Apr 20, 2017 05:21am

@Last word - Agree with you 100%. There is a classic movie released by USA many years ago based on true story called "Bridge of Spies" and is worth watching where the spies are released in exchange by USA and Russia. This movie shows how the defence lawyer convinces the US court judge to not pass a death sentence on an alleged Russian spy (photographer) apprehended by New York police in anticipation of a likely hood of future capture of US citizens. The lawyer gets so many hate mails in USA from public with strong local media criticism but remains steadfast in his human approach. Subsequently; the lawyer is nominated by US president to go to Russia to negotiate the release of 2 US citizens apprehended by Russia in exchange of photographer. None of the countries accepted that they were spies but the movie unfolds how the lawyer meets the Russian politburo members and manages the exchange and on his return to USA becomes a hero. This is real story & lessons to learn for both countries.

Murtaza Mirwaiz Apr 20, 2017 11:51am

@Uday Kulkarni That is exactly what mature countries do. Its upto us whether we want to grow up, or feel jubilant over scoring brownie points.

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Apr 20, 2017 04:46pm

For sure, even a high school drop-out can easily understand that Col. (R) Zahir Habib bas been illegally and covertly abducted by RAW and its cronies in order to divert and deflect the attention of their own spymaster and navy commander's arrest on the other side of the border, to use the Pakistan army's retired Col. as a bargaining chip in the possible upcoming negotiations for the release of the RAW agent.

Ismail Apr 20, 2017 06:23pm

I am sure defence personnel (current and retired) can travel overseas only after security clearance from the defence authorities. How could such a thing possibly happen?

jamshed Apr 20, 2017 06:56pm

Another proof of India's botched attempt to black mail on Pakistan into getting concessions for Yadav.