NEW DELHI: The Indian authorities have caught two Pakistan High Commission officials who were trying to spy sensitive documents on Sunday. Both Abid Hussain and Mohammad Tahir have been declared persona non grata and expelled from India.
The Foreign Ministry said that "The government has declared both these officials persona non grata for indulging in activities incompatible with their status as members of a diplomatic mission and asked them to leave the country within twenty-four hours."
An official statement of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that two officials of the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi were apprehended for indulging in espionage activities.
According to the sources, Hussain is working as an assistant in the Department of Trade in Pakistan High Commission was an operative of Pakistan's spy agency, ISI, and is from Punjab province of Pakistan. Tahir (44), who is from Islamabad, would accompany him on the espionage missions to gather information for news reporters.
It is said that Tahir and Abid have used fake identities in the past and was caught while speaking to their contacts on mobile. The officials added that two were declared PNG and were told to leave the country within 48 hours.
A senior police official speaking to a news agency said, "Tahir was actively pursuing officers and middle run employees luring with money and in some cases, honey trap them using social media accounts. The details regarding Indian officials to be contacted were shared by his senior in Pakistan. Personal social media accounts of government officials in India were monitored closely.”
MEA in a statement said that "Pakistan’s Charge de Affaires was issued a demarche in which a strong protest was lodged with regard to the activities of these officials of the High Commission of Pakistan against India’s national security. Pakistan's Cd’A was asked to ensure that no member of its diplomatic mission should indulge in activities inimical to India or behave in a manner incompatible with their diplomatic status."