Pakistan said Thursday that the charges against its High Commission staffer, whom India has declared as persona non grata for espionage activities, were ‘false and unsubstantiated.’ It also said it condemned the ‘detention and manhandling’ of its diplomatic official.
The diplomatic official, identified as Mehmood Akhtar, was initially taken into custody by the Delhi police crime branch after he was found in possession of defence-related documents. When he was approached by the Delhi police, he claimed he was an Indian national and produced a fake Aadhaar card. He was later released as he enjoys diplomatic immunity. According to the police, Akhtar has been posted with the High Commission in New Delhi for two-and-a-half years and worked in the visa section.
“He is serving with Pakistan ISI and has got diplomatic immunity since he is posted in the Pakistan High Commission (PHC) of Delhi. This was verified through MEA and after confirmation and as per the due procedures, he was handed over to the PHC diplomats in presence of MEA representative,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) R S Yadav said.
Two men, residents of Nagaur in Rajasthan, were arrested for spying on the border activities of the BSF and allegedly supplying the high commissioner staffer with information. Those arrested have been identified as Maulana Ramzan and Subhash Jangir, a senior police official said.
“FS summons Pak High Commissioner to convey that Pak High Commission staffer has been declared persona non grata for espionage activities,” said Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, earlier today.