NEW DELHI: The Ministry of External Affairs has on Thursday summoned the Pakistan High Commissioner, Abdul Basit and officially informed him about the detention of suspected Pakistan staffer Mehmood Akhtar serving in the Visa department of the Pakistan High commission under Abdul Basit. The MEA has also notified Mehmood Akhtar to leave India within 48 hours, after the police found him containing sensitive defense documents in connection with the Indian army operations, allegedly working as a spy under the supervision of the ISI.
Vikas Swarup, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed the above action during a media meet this evening. “We have received highly accurate information regarding espionage activities carried by a staffer in the Pakistan High Commission. He has been identified as Mehmood Akhtar during our investigation. We have recovered sensitive documents from him, which contained details about Indian army’s military operations. The same has been communicated to the Pakistan High commissioner and the Ministry of External Affairs has notified the Pakistani spy to leave India within 48 hours”.
Shortly after an official disclosure, the secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs Mr.Jaishankar called on Abdul Basit and informed him that Akhtar has been declared persona non-grata for espionage activities.
However, Pakistan denied the claims made by the Indian government terming it as ‘false’ and ‘unsubstantiated’. The Pakistan envoy also alleged that the High commission’s staffer was manhandled without following the 1961 Vienna convention.
Replying to the allegations made by Pakistan, spokesperson Mr.Vikas Swarup said “India has no time to make false allegations on any nation. We have been watching the activities of the person in question for about a week and only proceeded after procuring enough evidence. To emphasize, in our initial investigations Mehmood Akhtar said that he was from Chandni Chowk in North Delhi. We have also recovered an Adhar card from him, which is obviously a fake document with a fake name. Eventually, in our interrogation, he agreed that he was sent to India by the ISI to carry espionage activities”.
Mr.Swarup also added that the police have refrained from any type of manhandling respecting the immunity he enjoyed as a diplomat.
The Police said that they have arrested two suspects working under Mehmood Akhtar and are in a hunt for the third suspect. According to the details released by the Delhi police, Akhtar is on deputation to Pakistan’s ISI since January 2013.