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ISI agent arrested in Meerut

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New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) arrested Mohammad Ezaz, suspected to be a Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agent, from Meerut on Friday. He was found to have classified information relating to the military establishment and evidence of information exchange with his Pakistani counterpart.

Inspector General Sujit Pandey of UP STF said, in an interview to a newspaper, that the suspect had already sent confidential data regarding Indian military establishments and the scheduled movement of Army units to Pakistan.

He also mentioned that Ezaz had pictures and videos of an emergency landing of the Mirage 2000 fighter jet on Yamuna Expressway, the movements of the mountain brigade at Pithoragarh along with visuals of an under-construction runway. His bank account transactions in India showed operations of more than Rs 6 lakh in the last two years.

“He sneaked into India from Bangladesh on February 9, 2013. He has already handed over classified information on the movement of the Sukhoi 30 combat aircraft and their hangars. He has sent his handlers information on cantonments in Bareilly, Meerut, Agra, Pithoragarh, Shahjahanpur and Mathura. He was in contact with a man called Salim, an officer of the ISI. His family was receiving Rs 50,000 per month in Pakistan for his services,” informed Pandey.

In addition to the classified documents, investigators in Meerut found out a fake Aadhar card of him with his wrong Bareilly address, a fraud voter ID card prepared in West Bengal, a Delhi Metro traveller card, and Nepali and Saudi currency from him. His laptop, pen drive and ATM card were seized. An NADRA card (Pakistani national identity card) was also found with him, according to the IG.

Suspect Mohammad Ezaz is said to be a citizen of Islamabad in Pakistan and was living in Bareilly district of UP for the last few weeks according to the STF.

However, the Indian investigative agencies had received specific inputs on a similar activity, where a meeting between commanders of three Islamic terror outfits- Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) and the Pakistan’s ISI to chalk out plans to carry out attacks on Indian soil.

The terrorists are reported to be highly trained and were instructed to cross the border into India before snow blocks the routes in the upper reaches, the intelligence reports claimed. A report also suggested that ISI was not only providing logistic support for carrying out the attacks, but it also held a detailed briefing of 30 terrorists from the three outfits in a camp somewhere in Pak-occupied Kashmir (POK).

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Vow To Hold Peace Talks With India: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan

Since taking power in August Khan has also sought loans from allies such as China and Saudi Arabia, promised to recover funds stolen by corrupt officials

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan prepares to speak at the opening of the Future Investment Initiative conference, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. VOA

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday vowed to hold peace talks with arch-rival India following elections in the neighbouring country, after a similar offer from the former cricketer was “rebuffed.”

Khan made the announcement during a speech at a Saudi Arabian investment conference where the newly minted leader launched a charm offensive targeting potential investors as Pakistan seeks to secure funds amid a yawning balance of payment crisis.

“When I won the elections and came to power the first thing I tried to do was extend a hand of peace to India,” Khan told the crowd at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, saying the overture was later “rebuffed” by Delhi.

“Now what we are hoping is that we wait until the elections then again we will resume our peace talks with India,” he added, referring to upcoming nationwide polls scheduled to take place by mid-May.

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Imran Khan, wikimedia commons

In September India pulled the plug on a rare meeting between its foreign minister and her Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of a UN summit — a move that was termed “arrogant” by Khan and unleashed a barrage of insults from both sides.

India has long accused Pakistan of backing militants in Kashmir, a Himalayan territory divided between the two countries but claimed in full by both since independence in 1947.

Delhi has stationed about 500,000 soldiers in the portion of Kashmir it controls, where separatist groups demand independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Khan’s call for peace talks comes as his administration is desperately seeking funds from “friendly” countries, including Saudi Arabia, to shore up Pakistan’s deteriorating finances.

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, surrounded by host country representatives and other participants, attends an investment conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. VOA

The prime minister’s attendance at the FII comes as leading policy-makers and corporate chiefs shunned the conference in response to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

During his address at the FII Khan confirmed that Pakistan was also in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a new bailout.

Also Read: Pakistan Fears Economic Turmoil, Re-thinks ‘Silk Road’ Project With China

Since taking power in August Khan has also sought loans from allies such as China and Saudi Arabia, promised to recover funds stolen by corrupt officials, and embarked on a series of high-profile populist austerity measures.

But help has been in short supply and economists’ warnings have grown increasingly urgent. (VOA)