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ISI spy ‘reveals bigger ring at Delhi mission’

NEW DELHI: The Pakistan high commission official detained last month for spying is believed to have revealed that he was part of a bigger espionage ring operating from the mission. Sources said that ISI officer Mehboob Akhtar had admitted as much during questioning after he was detained by the Delhi Police crime branch. They claimed that apart from the four high commission officials he specifically mentioned, Mehboob said that there were at least 10 others tasked with sourcing information from Indians. Akhtar, a former soldier with the Pakistan army’s Baloch regiment, told police that he was merely following instructions issued by his seniors in the ISI and at the high commission. He has identified some of his seniors at the mission as Syed Farrukh Habib, counsellor (trade); Khadim Hussain, first secretary (visa); Muddasir Iqbal Cheema, first secretary (press); and Shahid Iqbal. Akhtar, who could not be interrogated in custody on account of diplomatic immunity, was sent back to Pakistan soon after he was detained. Police are now trying to extract information from the Indian agents arrested as part of the investigation into the espionage ring to corroborate Akhtar’s claims. Crime branch officials said they were yet to verify certain details. “He has named a lot of people, but we need to establish it (the truth) through call detail analysis and other tools,” said a senior police officer.

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