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Monday, May 29, 2023

ISI agents received money from Pakistan’s envoy to Bharat, Abdul Basit: Report

Two captured ISI agents have confessed to receiving money regularly from Pakistan’s envoy to Bharat, Abdul Basit, a a media report said on Saturday.

The ISI ring was busted with the arrest of Aftab Ali from Faizabad, UP on Wednesday. UP ATS said that Ali was passing information on several army cantonment areas and defence establishments in UP to his Pakistani handlers. On the basis of his interrogation, the same evening ATS arrested Altaf Qureshi (37) from his south Mumbai home in Yusuf Manzil, Phophalwadi and recovered Rs. 70 lakh from him. On Thursday, ATS arrested Altaf’s aide Javed Naviwala (26), a commerce graduate from a reputed south Mumbai college.

Both Naviwala and Qureshi, who are from Dorarji in Rajkot, were into hawala trade and were involved in transferring funds to Aftab and other ISI operatives in the country, said ATS. Gujarat police on Friday said that Qureshi had been arrested during a communal riot at Dhoraji in Rajkot district of the state in 2002.

Arrested ISI Agents: (L to R) Aftab Ali, Altaf Qureshi, Javed Naviwala

Aftab had been in touch with Meherban Ali directly through an online messenger before and after the surgical strikes by India. Now settled in Karachi, Meherban was among the group of six who were pulled out of the Pakistan High Commission in November 2016 for being part of an espionage ring in which Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Munavvar Saleem’s personal assistant Farhat Khan was also arrested.

Inspector general of UP ATS Asim Arun said Aftab had crossed over to Pakistan via Wagah border on a valid visa in May 2014 on the pretext of visiting his ailing maternal grandmother. “His visa application was rejected thrice and Meherban lured him into the spying ring by promising to get visa through his connections in the Pakistan High Commission,” said Arun. In return, Aftab was asked to attend a training session at Karachi which was organised by ISI.

Apart from chatting with Meherban, Aftab also came in contact with an ISI handler in Pakistan and continued to receive instructions from a person posted in Pakistan High Commission.

How ISI funds stone-pelters via Hurriyat in Kashmir

Television channel Times Now recently aired an expose showing how Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI has routed Rs 70 lakh or more to stone-pelters in Jammu and Kashmir through Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah.

Kashmir has been on the boil since the July 2016 when security forces killed terrorist Burhan Wani. From then until now, those protesting Wani’s death have waged a battle against security forces in the state by resorting to pelting stones at them. And the numbers of stone-pelters have risen dramatically.

The money route, the players

Times Now claims it has possession of documents that show details of the money route, of the funders and the primary recipients, and in whose hands the money ends up ultimately.

The ISI’s cash register documents accessed by Times Now show that the two ends of the money trail are Rawalpindi, which is ISI’s headquarters, and Srinagar, where the Hurriyat is based. From Srinagar, the money makes its way to people in places like Anantnag, Pulwama and Kupwara. These are all areas that have regularly reported often intense stone pelting.

In Rawalpindi, an ISI man named Ahmed Sagar is regularly in touch with Hurriyat leaders, especially Shabir Shah, the Times Now’s story reveals. Shah then disburses the money to various district offices of the Hurriyat who then hire young people to participate in pelting stones.

Incidentally, Ahmed Sagar is known to be close Pakistan’s envoy in Bharat, Abdul Basit.

Abdul Basit – a popular man in Lutyens’ party circuit

Here are some photos which show how successful Pakistan’s envoy in Bharat, Abdul Basit, has been in becoming a known face in the Lutyens’ party circuit. His ability to gain access to the high & mighty of Delhi’s elites stands in stark contrast to the rather more staid record (at least going by public sources) of the Bharatiya envoy to Pakistan, Gautam Bambawale.

Pakistan High Commisioner Abdul Basit seen sitting with Congress leader Anand Sharma at Sonia Gandhi’s iftaar dinner in July, 2015. (ANI)


Eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani and Environment Minister (now HRD minister) Prakash Javadekar at the Pakistan Day function in New Delhi, Mar 2016; Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar was also present


Basit greets Islamist Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani (left) at the Pakistan Day celebrations in Mar 2015 in New Delhi; even former army chief and Minister of State for External Affairs General V.K. Singh showed up at the function


Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, former Finance Minister and Congress MP P Chidambaram, and Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit at release of the book ‘2014 – The Election that changed India’ authored by Rajdeep Sardesai at a function on Nov 7, 2014 in New Delhi
In news just in, career Pakistani diplomat Sohail Mahmood is set to become Islamabad’s new High Commissioner to New Delhi, replacing Abdul Basit who has completed his three-year term in Bharat. Basit will likely be appointed as head of the Foreign Service Academy (FSA) in Islamabad.

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