Eight Indian embassy officials involved in terror activities: FO

Foreign Office on Thursday formally named eight diplomats and officials of Indian High Commission, belonging to Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB), to have involved in terror and subversive activities inside Pakistan. 

Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told his weekly media briefing that a number of Indian diplomats and staff belonging to Indian spy agencies RAW and IB have been found involved in co-ordinating terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan under the garb of diplomatic assignments.

Their names and designations are as provided by the spokesperson as RAW’s operatives included (i) Rajesh Kumar Agnihotri, commercial counsellor, RAW’s station chief; (ii) Anurag Singh, first secretary commercial; (iii) Amerdeep Singh Bhatti, attache visa; (iv) Dharmendra Sodhi, staff member; (v) Vijay Kumar Verma, Staff; and (vi) Madhavan Nanda Kumar Staff.

Indian IB’s operatives are: (i) Balbir Singh, first secretary press and information and IB station chief; and (ii) Jayabalan Senthil, assistant personnel welfare officer.

He pointed out that Surjeet Singh who was declared persona non grata a few days back was also an IB operative, working under Balbir Singh, adding Surjeet was using a fake identity as Abdul Hafeez, pretending to be a telecom company Warid’s employee.

About the alleged activities of the ‘operatives’ of RAW and IB, according to the spokesperson, included espionage, subversion and supporting of terrorist activities in Balochistan and Sindh, especially in Karachi, sabotage CPEC, and fuel instability in the two provinces and also create unrest in Gilgit-Baltistan.

He maintained that the operatives under the garb of commercial activities were engaged in expanding network of their operatives and agents as well as taking leverage their position as diplomats for ingress into influential circles for gathering inside information.

He further stated that that they were also engaged in damaging Pakistan-Afghanistan relations with a variety of activities, infiltrating Indian agents into social, media and political circles fort propaganda purposes and activities detrimental to Pakistan’s interests.

He further said that their activities also included fabricating evidences to portray Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, handle factions of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), instigate religious minorities, fuel sectarianism and malign Pakistan with propaganda on human rights issues.

According to FO spokesperson, the operatives were also involved in activities in Azad Jammu and Kashmir detrimental to the Kashmir cause and misled international community about indigenous movement for self determination in the Indian-held Kashmir.

“We are disappointed that India has not only been found involved in promoting terrorist activities and terror financing as was disclosed by Kulbhushan Yadav and further confirmed by the statements at the highest political level on August 15 and earlier during visit to Dhaka, but India has also been using its diplomatic mission for its nefarious designs,” Zakaria added.

To a question about the next course of action, he said that the serious and most deplorable development is under constant review by the relevant authorities, who will determine the next course of action.

“This is a grievous development that goes against the accepted norms of conducting diplomatic relations. This also confirms our stance regarding the involvement of India’s state agencies in subversive activities in Pakistan for the purpose of destabilising the country,” he added.

He also accused India for violating diplomatic norms and code of conduct of maintaining relations between two sovereign states. Whereas, Pakistan has pursued a policy of restraint, patience and sobriety which has been appreciated world over, he said, adding a number of countries have expressed their appreciation of Pakistan’s policy.

“India violated diplomatic norms and Vienna Convention when our diplomatic staff was arrested and tortured until our High Commission intervened”, he said while referring to the case of Mahmood Akhtar who was expelled from India last week.

He said that all along the Indian security agencies, who keep surveillance on each one and everyone’s movement round the clock, knew that Akhter was a High Commission’s official but they chose to violate Vienna convention.

He also confirmed that six other diplomats and diplomatic staff have been recalled from New Delhi for their safety after they were falsely accused of anti-state activities, which endangered their and their families’ lives. “They were unable to perform their diplomatic duties while their families were harassed and we had to recall them for their safety,” he added.

“These highly regrettable acts were also part of their desperation to divert World’s attention from atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir”, he added.

About the situation in IoK, he said that India was desperate to hide their crimes against humanity from the international community’s scrutiny. “Indian atrocities in IOK are absolutely not acceptable and India must stop bloodshed immediately,” he remarked.

Referring to the escalation at the LoC and Working Boundary, he said that in desperation, the Indian forces have turned their guns on innocent civilians across LoC in AJK and across WB in Pakistani territory, adding the unprovoked firing has taken a huge toll on innocent civilians.

“We condemn India’s continued atrocities in IoK and unprovoked cease-fire violations that killed and injured civilians. India uses allegations of infiltrations to maliciously portray the indigenous Kashmiri movement for self-determination as terrorism,” he added.

He said that UNMOGIP representatives in Pakistan have visited areas which are affected by the Indian firing. Regrettably, he added that India remains in constant violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and UN Charter by not extending any cooperation to UNMOGIP. “International Community must also take note and hold India accountable for its crimes in Kashmir”, he added.

To another query, he said that Pakistan’s repeated offers of talks remain un-responded, adding Pakistan has always pursued a policy of maximum restraint and patience and made many gestures towards peaceful relations with India, but India remains intransigent and arrogant. “We remain open to a result-oriented and sustainable dialogue,” he said.

About Pakistan’s participation in the next month Hearts of Asia conference in India, he said Pakistan remains committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan, adding Pakistan feels that peace and stability in Afghanistan is in its own interest and also in the larger interest of the region.

“It is in this spirit that Pakistan supports all the initiatives which are aimed at bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan”, he added. To a question about willingness of Chinese company to finance Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline on Pakistan’s side, he said Pakistan is pursuing this gas pipeline project keenly, adding there have been numerous contacts between Iran and Pakistan to carry forward this project.

About the arrested Afghan woman Sharbat Gula in CNIC forgery case, he said Pakistani authorities are extending full cooperation to the Afghan authorities in the case. However, he said that the legal course will be followed and whatever the outcome is, it will come forward in due course, as the case is already in the country’s court.

-Business Recorder