On 3rd May, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh had arrested a suspected ISI agent named Aftab Ali from Faizabad who was reportedly involved in running an espionage racket in the state. The report had also claimed that Aftab had received training in Pakistan from the ISI and was also in constant touch with the Pakistani High Commission officials.
Reportedly one of the tasks of Aftab was keeping a close eye on our Army troop movement between Faizabad and Lucknow and the deployment of army battalions. It was also claimed that Aftab had gathered information on several army cantonment areas and defense establishments in UP. Aftab was sent to a 9 day police remand on 5th May.
This incident seem to be only the tip of the iceberg with further arrests being made in relation with ISI agents operating in India. According to reports, a man named Altaf Qureshi was also arrested on 3rd May from South Mumbai. Qureshi is reportedly been touted as a hawala operator who also used to work for the ISI.
This collusion apparently doesn’t end here. Qureshi apparently was part of the Hawala business at the behest of a man named Jawed Naviwala, who is also a Hawala trader and possibly the boss of Qureshi. This led to the arrest of Naviwala on the following day from Agripada. Naviwala reportedly is a relative of Aftab Ali, the suspected ISI agent who was arrested in Faizabad, and had also transferred Rs 15,000 to his account.
It was also reported that Naviwala used to get direct instructions from Pakistan and he in turn used to frequently instruct Qureshi to transfer money into Aftab’s account. Though according to ATS sources Navivala has called himself innocent and claims that the Rs 15,000 which he had gotten deposited were for an apparent medical charity.
The presence of ISI and Pakistani spies in India is well known and the authorities keep making frequent arrests in this regard. In October 2016 an employee of Pakistani high commission named Mehmood Akhtar was expelled from India after it was revealed that he was involved in procuring critical details including the deployment of BSF troops along the Indo-Pak border. During that time reports claimed that as many as 50 Pakistani spies have been arrested in India since 2013.