Two Pakistani spies have been expelled from the country after they were caught impersonating businessmen and meeting defence personnel seeking sensitive information. The Pakistani High Commission officials were caught after an intelligence operation found that the men would visit Indian defence personnel as "businessmen" to secure information for "news reporters". Abid Hussain and Mohammad Tahir have been declared persona non grata and have been asked to leave the country within 24 hours.
An official statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated that two officials of the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi were apprehended for espionage. According to an India Today report, Hussain (42) was working as an assistant in the Department of Trade in Pakistan High Commission, while Tahir (44) was an upper division clerk in the high commission.
Hussain, an operative of Pakistan spy agency ISI hails from Punjab province of Pakistan and Tahir is from Islamabad. The latter would accompany Hussain in missions to gather information for new reporters, stated the news site.
The Indian 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". The officials were working for the commission for the last two years. They were being driven around by Javed Akhtar (36), who hails from Mianwali in Pakistan's Punjab. Akhtar has also been arrested.
The law enforcement agencies, who apprehended the two officials, recovered some incriminating documents, Rs 15,000 and two iPhones from them. According to the report, after they were caught, both Abid and Tahir admitted to be in communication with many other persons to gather information.