European nationals working as spies with govt's approval: FO
24 January, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it is not unnecessarily bothered by western media reports that nationals of European countries are working as spies inside Pakistan, because the European countries had taken Pakistan into confidence about all their nationals based here and had been transparent about their activities.
"There are certainly no Raymond Davis-like spies and undercover agents from Europe running around Pakistan so that is why are satisfied with information given to us by the Norwegian and German governments. We are aware that they are here and in most cases cooperating with us to fight extremism and terrorism", a senior official told.
He was responding to two specific cases that found their way into the Norwegian and German media. On Saturday three German nationals including one in uniform were detained and sent back to Islamabad because they failed to provide documentary evidence of their stay in Khyber Paktoonkhwa. The German media said the three were members of Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency, about which there was no response from the Foreign Office except that they were not in possession of the required documents.
"We know who these nationals are and we know about their activities as they coordinate with us on many occasions," said one FO official. He said the media had to be more responsible because nowhere in the world does a government comment publicly on matters of intelligence and after 9/11 Pakistan had been coordinating with several world capitals in its efforts to counter terrorism and in many cases earned the thanks of European capitals for sharing timely and doable intelligence.
Earlier last week it was Norway that was in the limelight, when the minutes of a parliamentary committee meeting were leaked to the media, that caught unawares Norway's head of intelligence Janne Kristiansen, as she admitted that Norway had military agents working in Pakistan. Though she resigned from office after this breach of confidentiality, Pakistan sought more information from the Norwegian ambassador in Islamabad and later appeared satisfied with the explanation given about a single Norwegian citizen in its Defence Wing.