The Bold Voice of J&K

Honey trapping

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The recent exposes of several ISI-linked spy rings have brought to light that Pakistan’s infamous intelligence agency is floating fake ex-servicemen organisations to lure former forces personnel to ferret “authentic” information about serving officers and troop movements. The former soldiers are being drawn to these fronts by offers like jobs and other rehabilitation measures purportedly intended to further their welfare with gullible, mostly low ranking ex-servicemen falling for the ploy. This new phenomena is a low cost war Pakistan can ever fight with India by ‘honey trapping’ the ex-servicemen and seeking “reference” information.  This is a common modus operandi of ISI noticed in north Indian states, particularly in  Punjab, with agents reaching out to ex-service personnel looking for jobs and other benefits. Success in such operations may just embolden ISI to get further entrenched in the system, expand spying activities and get more crucial details as the net grows wider. Intelligence agencies had alerted the Ministry of Defence to this modus operandi of ISI around six months back. As many as 36 persons, including 13 serving and retired armed forces personnel and one serving BSF personnel, have been arrested over the past three years on charges of spying for ISI. As per statistics furnished by the Home Ministry in reply to a Rajya Sabha question during the just-concluded winter session, 20 civilians and two foreigners, including a Sri Lankan and a Pakistani, were placed under arrest between 2013 and 2015 for passing on information to the ISI. Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary told Elders that 14 persons have been arrested for alleged espionage on behalf of ISI so far this year. They include five serving or retired armed force personnel, one serving BSF personnel, seven civilians and one Pakistani. The number of serving or retired armed forces personnel has swelled to seven since, with two fresh arrests over the past couple of days. In 2014, seven persons, including four serving or retired armed forces personnel, two civilians and a Sri Lankan, were arrested on similar charges. The 13 persons arrested in 2013 on charges of espionage for ISI included two serving or retired armed force personnel and 11 civilians. So the trend is not new but a dangerous one on the security of the nation.

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