New Delhi, Nov 2: The Pakistan High Commission official who was detained last month for spying is believed to have been a part of bigger ring. As per reports, Mehmood Akhtar has revealed that he was part of a bigger espionage ring operating from the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. As per reports, ISI officer Akhtar has admitted that other than him, there were 10 others who were sourcing information from Indians.
During questioning, he said that he was a soldier with the Pakistan army’s Baloch regiment and was merely following instructions given to him from the ISI and high commission. He was detained by the Delhi Police crime branch but could not be interrogated in custody. In a videotaped statement to police, Akhtar mentioned names of his seniors as Syed Farrukh Habib, counselor (trade); Khadim Hussain, first secretary (visa); Muddasir Iqbal Cheema, first secretary (press); and Shahid Iqbal.
Akhtar who was detained by the Delhi Police, was left due to the diplomatic immunity he enjoys. As Akhtar could not be questioned in custody, he was sent back to Pakistan. Following the detention, police is now trying to extract information from the Indian agents arrested as a part of the investigation. To confirm Akhtar’s claims, police have intensified their investigation.
Times of India quoted a senior official as saying, “He has named a lot of people, but we need to establish it (the truth) through call detail analysis and other tools,” said a senior police officer.”
Reportedly, Islamabad may consider pulling out the diplomats from its mission. As per Dawn which quoted a Pakistan foreign office saying, This is under consideration. A final decision would be taken shortly.” It also quoted Akhtar as saying, “They took me to a police station after detaining me where I was forced to read out a written statement provided by them in which the names of the four officers were given, and was told to state that they belonged to Pakistan’s intelligence services.”
Akhtar was detained for possessing sensitive information and documents pertaining to army and BSF deployment. Akhtar was caught receiving secret documents on October 26. Although his claims are still being verified and, the police might write to the Ministry of External Affairs, if found to be true. In a bid to locate locals who were providing confidential documents and information to Akhtar, Crime Branch teams are trying to locate various places in Rajasthan to apprehend who allegedly headed the racket.
Recently, Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Munavvar Saleem’s personal assistant Farhat Khan was also arrested in connection with the espionage racket.