Mehmood Akhtar
Mehmood Akhtar

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — A staffer of the Pakistan high commission who was detained by police for the alleged possession of confidential documents was immediately declared an unwanted person within the country, he’s been ordered to leave India within 48 hours, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Thursday.

Mehmood Akhtar, who worked in the visa department of the high commission and is shielded with diplomatic immunity, was collecting critical details from two other accomplices who have been arrested, police said.

Akhtar was released after prolonged questioning because of his diplomatic immunity.

“During interrogation, Akhtar said that he was posted in the Pakistan high commission here since about two-and-a-half years and was working in visa section,” Vikas Swarup said.

“Akhtar is on deputation to Pak ISI since January 2013 and is a serving Hawaldar the Baloch Regiment of Pakistan army,” Swarup added.

Abdul Basit of the Pakistan envoy strongly protested with the Indian foreign secretary for alleged “detention and manhandling” of the Pakistan high commission staffer in violation of 1961 Vienna Convention, according to Pakistan Foreign Office. Swarup denied these allegations, saying instead that Akhtar was treated with courtesy.

“When Mehmood Akhtar was handed over to Pakistan high commissioner in the presence of MEA official, he himself said he was treated well,” he said.

The Pakistani envoy also denied the spy accusations as “false and unsubstantiated.”

“The accused were involved in espionage activities for over a year-and-a-half. We were watching their activities for past six months. On a specific input, they were held on Wednesday. Akhtar is a kingpin of the spy ring,” joint commissioner of police (crime branch) R S Yadav said during a press conference.

Police said that Akhtar initially showed an Aadhar card in the name of Mehboob Rajput.

“He claimed to be a resident of Chandni Chowk but after sustained interrogation, he revealed his real name Mehmood Akhtar,” said Yadav. “He is serving with Pakistan ISI and has got diplomatic immunity since he is posted in the Pakistan high commission (PHC) of Delhi. This was verified through MEA and after confirmation and as per the due procedures, he was handed over to the PHC diplomats in presence of MEA representative,” he added.

When asked about Pakistan’s denial that Mehmood Akhtar was not involved in spying, Swarup said that this is something which has by now become quiet characteristic of Pakistan.

“We are happy that we nipped the ISI spy ring in the bud,” Swarup said.