News / Asia

Indian Diplomat Arrested on Charges of Spying for Pakistan

Indian authorities have arrested a female diplomat posted at the Indian Embassy in Islamabad on charges of spying for Pakistan. 

Madhuri Gupta has been taken into custody on charges of espionage.  The 53-year-old had been working in the press and information wing at the Indian Embassy in Islamabad as a junior diplomat for nearly three years.

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash confirmed the arrest in a brief statement made on the sidelines of a summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation being held in Bhutan.

"We have reason to believe that an official in the High Commission of India in Islamabad had been passing information to the Pakistani intelligence agencies. The matter is currently under investigation.  The official is cooperating with our investigations and enquiries," said Vishnu Prakash.

Indian officials are not elaborating on the arrest, which was made last week.  The diplomat was taken into custody after being called back to the Indian capital on the pretext of discussions for the SAARC summit.

Indian investigators are probing if others could also be involved.  The Press Trust of India reports the head of India's intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing, in Islamabad is also being investigated.

Former Indian diplomats expressed surprise that Pakistani intelligence agencies could penetrate the tightly controlled Indian Embassy in Islamabad.

Tensions run deep between India and Pakistan - the South Asian rivals whose dispute over Kashmir has led to decades of hostility and triggered three wars.  A peace process launched in 2004 has also faltered amid Indian accusations that Pakistan does not do enough to stop Islamic militant groups based in its territory from mounting terror attacks in India.

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