The two Pakistani High Commission officials, who were caught spying on Sunday, used to meet Indian defence personnel as "businessmen" to get information for "news reporters".
Both have been declared persona non grata and expelled from India. An official statement of the Ministry of External Affairs said that two officials of the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi were apprehended on Sunday for indulging in espionage activities.
The Government has declared both the 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".
Official sources said the espionage module was busted in a joint operation by the Military Intelligence with the Intelligence Bureau and Delhi Police's Special Cell.
The two Pakistan High Commission officials, sources said, pretended to be businessmen and used to meet Indian defence personnel.
An assistant in the Department of Trade in Pakistan High Commission, Abid Hussain Abid (42), sources said, was an operative of Pakistan's spy agency, ISI and is from Punjab province of Pakistan. While indulging in espionage activities, he told Indian defence personnel that he was from Amritsar.
His colleague, an upper division clerk in the High Commission, Mohammad Tahir (44) who is from Islamabad, would accompany him on the espionage missions to gather information for "news reporters". Sources said the news reporters were decoy reporters who were paid Rs 25,000 per piece and expensive gifts. They were paid via phone wallet application such as Paytm.
Both were in the High Commission for the last two years, sources said adding that the duo were driven around by Javed Akhtar (36), a resident of Mianwali, in Pakistan's Punjab, who has also been arrested.
The two officials had been on the radar of the Indian agencies for their suspicious activities including attempts to contact and lure service personnel for espionage, sources said.
The law enforcement agencies who apprehended the two officials, recovered some incriminating documents, Rs 15,000 and two iPhones from them. Of the two iPhones, they were to give one to their informants.
Sources said after they were caught, both Abid and Tahir admitted to be in communication with many other persons for gathering information.
The Ministry of External Affairs, in its statement, described the activities of the officials "inimical to India" and "incompatible with their diplomatic status".
Pakistan's Charge de Affaires was issued a demarche, in which a strong protest was lodged with regard to the activities of the officials of the High Commission of Pakistan against India's national security, the government said.
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