Afghan diplomat, officials arrested for spying

Afghanistan`s spy agency said a senior foreign ministry diplomat and three other government officials have been arrested over charges of spying.

Updated: Feb 28, 2012, 00:45 AM IST

Kabul: Afghanistan`s spy agency on Monday said a
senior foreign ministry diplomat and three other government
officials have been arrested over charges of spying for
neighbouring Iran and Pakistan.

The men were detained "on charges of spying for
neighbouring regions" and "the arrests were made with concrete
evidence", the agency`s spokesman, Lutfullah Mashal, said to a news agency,
speaking in English.

The spokesman refused to provide details but a senior
intelligence official speaking to a news agency under condition of
anonymity said the men worked for Iran and Pakistan -- both
accused of interference in the troubled nation.

"One of them is a senior diplomat at the foreign
ministry, he`s the deputy head of the Asia desk. The others
are government employees in the provinces of Nangarhar (in the
east) and Herat (in the west)," the official said.

The arrests were made a month ago, he said.
The official said the senior diplomat and two of the
three other men were providing intelligence for Pakistan`s ISI
military intelligence agency, which Afghans accuse of secretly
helping Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.

The foreign ministry was not immediately reachable for
comment.

The Taliban, who were in power from 1996 until 2001 when
they were ousted in a US-led invasion, are waging an
insurgency to topple President Hamid Karzai`s Western-backed
government.

The fourth person was arrested in Herat, Afghanistan`s
western trading hub on the border with Iran and Turkmenistan.

PTI