When the organizers of the SAARC conference in Bhutan were anxiously engaged in arrangements for their worthy guests from all over the world, all of a sudden, Madhoori Gupta, the Indian diplomat, became the focus of the ever eager and ever inquisitive world-media. She was arrested on charges of spying for Pakistan’s spy agency ISI during her stay in Pakistan. She was summoned to Delhi on the pretext of consultations regarding the 16th SAARC Summit in Bhutan and was handed over to the investigation agencies. According to the statement given to the media by Indian Intelligence sources Madhoori Gupta had a long list of allegations against her including her two days visit , on March 28 and 29, to the Sunderbani border area in Jammu and Kashmir. Sunderbani is an area close to the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri District. There she stayed with a doctor couple but the sources did not expose the nature of the relationship the diplomat had with the doctor couple. Moreover she was alleged of having a so-called personal relationship with a Pakistani intelligence officer. Gupta claims she was romantically involved with that officer and it is no doubt a very personal matter. As reported by the TIME, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, says that Gupta is co-operating with the investigations and inquiries. She has confessed that she had been spying for Pakistan for the last two years and the motive behind was just to settle old scores with senior Indian diplomats who mistreated her during her early career.
The world of secret-services is no doubt an unfathomable sea of mysteries. No one knows what happens next and who is working for whom. It is the responsibility of the commanding and controlling authorities of every intelligence agency to keep an eye on the things going around. If Gupta had been working for the ISI, uninterruptedly, for more than two years, what it must be called; the efficiency of ISI or the negligence of the RAW; this question needs to be answered.
When we look at the timings chosen for this disclosure, we are compelled to think a step farther. On one hand the beginning of the SAARC Summit and on the other hand Madhoori Gupta coming to the surface, it is not a mere co-incidence. As every one knows that the 16th SAARC Summit was being taken as a turning point in the history of Indo-Pak relationship by most of the international political analysts. This summit was given more importance because of the expected conversational sessions between Mr.Geelani and Dr. Man Mohan Singh. It was also in the air that the meeting between the two premiers would swallow up the widening distances between India and Pakistan and the dead-lock after the Mumbai blasts would come to an end.
Dr. Man Mohan Singh is a politician with a mild approach and to some extant has a soft corner for Pakistan. In most of his statements he has been expressing his desire for a peaceful solution to all conflicting issues between the two neighboring countries but unfortunately, in spite of being the leader of the House, he does not have the complete authority of taking steps and making decisions. He is not as autonomous as that of the Pakistani Premier. It has always been a routine practice that he makes a lot of promises for the peace calm and prosperity of the region whenever he is meeting the Pakistani leaders on a foreign land but his statements altogether change into bitter remarks when he arrives back to his motherland. His changing attitude has always been reported with a question mark in the international media. It seems that inwardly he is a peace-loving person but as a result of some exerted pressure he has to show a face which, in fact, does not belong to him. He seems playing puppet in the hands of the traditional Hindu extremists who are in a large number not only in the Indian media, Indian society but also in the Indian Parliament. These are the elements which never support and encourage any effort for long standing peace in the region, either on the part of Pakistan or India. The recent disclosure regarding Madhoori Gupta is also an attempt of such extremist elements. The only purpose behind is to create misunderstandings and confusions between the two countries and sabotage the peace process.
Madhoori was the Second Secretary in the Press and Information Wing of the Indian High Commission at Islamabad. Usually the job and responsibility of a Second Secretary working at the press and information wing of a high-commission is to pass on the information provided by the government. People working on such positions don’t have any access to such very confidential and secret information which could be of any particular use to a rival intelligence agency. Even then, if Madhoori Gupta succeeded in approaching any type of confidential secrets, it is nothing but a tragic flaw in the system of Indian government leading to a devastating catastrophe. The government of India and the hi-ups of the RAW must be very much vigilant and conscious regarding such incidents. It is the proper time for them to strengthen their grip on affairs so that such type of harmful actions may not be repeated.
Diplomats are the representative of their country and their government. The role played by them is always of a very serious and sensitive nature. Moreover they represent the elite educated social strata of their society .The diplomats like Madhoori Gupta cannot be taken as a ‘man in the street’ that falls an easy prey to individual needs and requirements, personal grievances and reactions. There must be something else behind. It is a common feeling in Pakistan that the arrest of Madhoori Gupta is simply another play staged by the Raw. It is nothing but an attempt to disrupt and discourage the probable peace-process between the two countries after the SAARC Summit, which could possibly lead to the demand of the solution of Kashmir Issue. The disclosure regarding Madhoori Gupta seems not only the continuation of the tragic Mumbai Blasts but also another attempt to defame Pakistan’s most sacred and devotedly patriotic institution the ISI.
The writer is a Pakistan based bilingual analyst on strategic and defense affairs.