Indian diplomat was RAW agent: Pakistani paper
The tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats by Pakistan and India has got the Pakistani media lining up behind Islamabad's version.india Updated: Aug 06, 2006 15:36 IST
Expelled Indian diplomat Deepak Kaul was an Indian spy who was assigned "activities to harm Pakistan", a newspaper close to the Pakistani military establishment said on Sunday.
The tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats by Pakistan and India has got the Pakistani media lining up behind Islamabad's version of the event that are set to hit the peace process.
"Indian intelligence agencies have reportedly started haunting and chasing Pakistani diplomats as well as their families in the New Delhi," The News stated in a front-page report.
Kaul, expelled on Saturday, "has confessed that he is an official of the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and not a diplomat", it alleged.
Belonging to the Jung Group of newspapers, the daily has a reputation of being close to the Army's General Headquarters.
The newspaper cited "diplomatic observers" as saying that Kaul "would be posted in Afghanistan or Iran since he has been assigned activities to harm Pakistan".
"Kaul took over as the RAW boss in Islamabad Sep 12, 2003. He was 'famous' for mix-drink parties at his residence," the newspaper alleged.
It blamed New Delhi for making the news of his expulsion public in contrast to Islamabad, which wanted Kaul to be removed quietly so as not to adversely affect the peace process.
It said Kaul was travelling "on the pretext of visiting Lahore without prior intimation to the relevant authorities".
This has been denied by India that says prior permission was sought and Kaul was proceeding to receive his family at the Wagah border.
Quoting diplomatic sources, it said the Indian government was told through diplomatic channels to remove Kaul "immediately as he was caught red-handed and could not be permitted to stay on in Pakistan any more".
"Pakistan did not want to make the offence of the Indian consular a public dispute and India was urged to take away the consular quietly and either of the government should not go to the media on the matter. India initially agreed to the proposal but Delhi abruptly backtracked from its undertaking and consigned the matter to its media," the report said.
Security analyst Talat Masood suggested that the officials of the two countries should "sit together and ensure that such incidents are not repeated in future so that the peace process could not be side tracked.
"Such incidents create doubts and misgivings especially when they come on the heels of the Mumbai (terror) blasts" for which New Delhi has blamed Islamabad, Masood observed.