NEW DELHI: Early on Friday morning, a middle-aged man got off an Air India flight from Dubai at the national capital's international airport. He was booked on a connecting flight to Kathmandu but the man did not appear to be in any particular hurry. Nearly an hour later, he approached the airport's help-desk.
- "I want to remain in India," Rafiq, a Pakistani national, told officials
- The 38-year-old has produced some documents to prove his ISI link
- Security agencies running a background check on him to verify his claims
"Hello, I am an ISI agent. But I don't wish to continue any further and want to remain in India," the 38-year-old told the staffer manning the counter shortly after 6 am. The ISI, or Inter Services Intelligence is the largest of Pakistan's five intelligence agency that New Delhi accuses of supporting terrorist acts in India.
The help desk staffer did quickly call security officials. Intelligence officials at the airport also joined in, and Rafiq, the Pakistani national, was taken to the prayer room nearby where officials started the initial questioning.
In his bag, Muhammad Ahmad Sheikh Muhammad Rafiq was carrying a bunch of documents, purportedly with ISI markings. Intelligence officials say they can't yet say for sure if the 38-year-old was who he claimed to be; a mine of information.
Rafiq pulled out the papers, claiming that he was connected with the ISI but had decided to call it a day. Some more questions, and the local officials decided to escalate the case. He was taken away and is being questioned by a joint team of intelligence officials.
A background check is also underway. Immigration authorities have been told to scan their records to see if Rafiq had visited India in the past. The Indian mission in Dubai has been told to see if they can get some additional information on him, and cross-check some of his claims.
Officials didn't get into the details of his claims. "Every detail would be verified before a view is taken on his claims," one of them said.