MOFA officers arrested on spying charges


Grade 18 officer working at the Chinese Division at MOFA produced before the court; the said officer is accused of sharing secret information with the Russian intelligence operatives; Bulgarian ambassador in Pakistan was sacked in the past for corrupt practices

Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD:  A few senior officers working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan (MOFA), have been arrested on the charges of spying for other countries. In addition, action has also been taken against officers of the protocol department involved in illegal practices.

According to details, Syed Qalbe Abbas, a BS-18 official of the Ministry of Planning and Development, had been working as deputy director of the China Division on deputation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for nearly three years.

According to an FIR registered against him with the Counter Terrorism Wing (CTW), he frequently met diplomats and officials of foreign intelligence agencies “to deliver secret information/documents prejudicial to the safety and interests of the state”.

The sources revealed, the suspect had started his career as a research officer in now devolved ministry of food, agriculture and livestock in early 2000. He later became section officer and was associated with a section in the Economic Affairs Division that deals with the United Nations and foreign training. He became deputy director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in September 2018.

The accused was produced before the the Islamabad High Court seeking bail but the Court turned down his post-arrest bail petition.

Booked under Section 3 and 4 of the Official Secret Act, Abbas is facing charges of leaking sensitive information. According to an official privy to the development, the suspect was part of an organised network working for Russian intelligence and is being probed to ascertain the identity of his accomplices and how he retrieved such information and official documents.

Sources further revealed that a few other officials are also said to be involved in such practices and thus being proceeded against.

It may be mentioned here that a few officers of the protocol division were shown the door for their involvement in the corrupt practices. Those offices were involved in issuing fake note verbal and import of liquor through unfair means.

Similarly some diplomats too were pin-pointed by the Pakistani Customs authorities who were found involved in importing liquor beyond the specified quotas and secondly importing the duty free cars for their Pakistani friends.

The former Bulgarian Ambassador Aleksandar Borisov Parashkevov’s services were terminated and he was called back from Pakistan when it was confirmed that he misused his authority.

The Bulgaria Ministry of Foreign Affairs, upon getting the news thoroughly investigated the matter. It also wrote a letter to the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking it for details about the shady deal. The Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the ambassador was involved in practices, which were not incommensurate with his status and stature. The Bulgarian Council of Ministers then proposed to the President to terminate the diplomatic assignment of the Ambassador of the Republic Bulgaria in Pakistan.