New Delhi, Apr 9: A Pakistani diplomat was named on a ‘wanted’ list of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for allegedly conspiring 26/11-type attacks on the Indian Army and Navy commands in south India in 2014 and the US and Israeli consulates. Pakistani diplomat Amir Zubair Siddiqui, who was posted as visa counsellor in the Pakistani High Commission in Sri Lanka, was named on the NIA’s ‘wanted’ list. The development assumes significance as this is the first time that India has put a Pakistani diplomat’s name in the ‘wanted’ list.
According to the NIA, Amir Zubair Siddiqui, along with three other Pakistani officers, was conspiring to launch 26/11-type strikes on US and Israeli consulates besides Army and Navy commands in south India in 2014. The NIA hasn’t identified the three other Pakistani officers. Two of them have been put on the ‘wanted’ list apart from Siddiqui. One used ‘Vineeth’ as his alias and another official codenamed ‘Boss alias Shah’, reported a newspaper. A fourth Pakistani officer posted in the high commission in Sri Lanka was also involved in the conspiracy.
The accused Pakistani officers, while serving in Colombo from 2009 to 2016, planned attacks on vital installations in Chennai and other places in south India. Their plot was foiled when the NIA arrested Sri Lankan national Muhammed Sakir Hussaien and other agents who had been hired by Siddiqui. These agents were tasked to collect information about defence installations, nuclear establishments and movement of arms and click photographs of such places, the NIA reportedly claimed.
Siddiqui, along with three other Pakistani officers, asked them to steal laptops from senior Indian Army officers and supply fake Indian currency notes (FICN). The US consulate in Chennai and the Israeli consulate in Bengaluru were also on their target, the agency said. The code name for the plot to attack the US consulate in Chennai was ‘wedding hall’. The attack was supposed to be carried out by ‘cooks’, a code for terrorists who were to enter India from the Maldives. The US shared key information with India to nail the Pakistani officers.
The NIA will soon send a request to Interpol seeking red corner notices (RCNs) against the Pakistani officers, who have reportedly been repatriated to Islamabad. The development comes at a time when India and Pakistan have locked horns with each other alleging harassment of their diplomats.