Amardeep Bassey, a correspondent of the British Sunday Mercury newspaper, was arrested on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan on Monday. Bassey was arrested on suspicion of espionage while crossing over to Afghanistan. Bassey did not have valid travel documents; there was no stamp in his passport allowing him to leave the Pakistani territory for Kabul. At present, Bassey is being questioned by the Pakistani military intelligence.
The professional jealousy of Pakistani special services has become the talk of the town. One might remember that several representatives of the Pakistani authorities dropped a hint, saying that kidnapped journalist Daniel Pearl could have been connected with spying. Amardeep Bassey is even more unlucky: he is suspected of espionage, and, moreover, he is an Indian. This detail can have very lamentable consequences for the journalist against the background of the current contradiction between India and Pakistan.
Sunday Mercury spokespeople swear that they will do their best to have their reporter relased, although it is not clear how they are going to do this. The Pakistani authorities are not going to compromise. The intelligence service in Pakistan is a very powerful structure, and the leadership of the country is sometimes not fully aware of the activities of its special services.
The new case of spying mania in Pakistan shows that one can hardly consider Pakistan a true ally of the USA, Great Britain, and other Western countries. First was Daniel Pearl’s death, then several American citizens were killed as a result of an act of terrorism, and eleven French people were killed in a bus explosion last week. However, those acts of terrorism were committed by local Islamic radical groups, and now the Pakistani intelligence is “working” with a British national. So there is one conclusion: no one can guarantee the security of European and American citizens in Pakistan.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov