From unleashing a Pakistani socialite-cum-Bollywood wannabe, luring an Indian bureaucrat working in a security ministry to snaring visa agents to gather intelligence - Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) does it all, says a recently published book.
Maloy Krishna Dhar, a former IPS officer who lives in Delhi, has laid bare several of ISI's intelligence-gathering strategies in his book 'Intelligence Tradecraft: Secrets of Spy Warfare'.
The 70-year-old Dhar has spent nearly three decades in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and donned several hats in the organisation's counter-intelligence and counter-terror units and retired as its Joint Director in the mid-nineties.
In his book, Dhar narrates IB's busting of a key ISI operation being run in Delhi to gain access to "top secret files and information" related to defence ministry. For this, the ISI used a "honey trap" of feminine charm and sex.
"A Pakistani socialite was flown in as a junior diplomat by the ISI to target the bureaucrat. The bureaucrat was a hard
nut to crack by monetary incentives but had a weakness for the fairer sex and had entangled himself in a couple of extramarital relationships," said Dhar.
"It did not take more than a fortnight to allure the officer to an electronically-treated bedroom. The result was devastating. When confronted with the stills and video clips, the bureaucrat caved in and agreed to work for the ISI," recounted Dhar. "His handler was a tantalisingly beautiful junior diplomat," he added.
It was the bureaucrat's frequent visits to a south Delhi guesthouse, where he would meet the Pakistani beauty, which alerted the IB's counter-intelligence unit. that began a "counter sting operation" to "amass evidence to nail down the bureaucrat".
The bureaucrat was dismissed from service while the Pakistani "junior diplomat disappeared," Dhar writes. "Employment of a socialite in a diplomatic post for a specific operation was an exceptional tradecraft experiment by the ISI," he adds.
When asked, Dhar told HT, "The Pakistani socialite was actually a singer-cum-actress who frequented Delhi and has acted in a few Bollywood movies, one of which was a big hit."
The book also gives instances of how ISI's "non-diplomatic operators" scour various defence installations and sensitive office complexes in the city while trying out "hit and pick tactics to hook up lower level defence employees".
The book also alleges that Pakistani embassy's consular section is "mostly manned by the personnel of the ISI", visa agents and agents to spot "visa seekers" who could be "cultivated".