India accuses diplomat of spying for Pakistan

NEW DELHI (AP) — India is investigating a serious breach of security after arresting a diplomat accused of spying for Pakistan while posted at the Indian Embassy in Islamabad, India's foreign minister said Wednesday.

Madhuri Gupta, 53, a second secretary at the embassy, was recalled to New Delhi and arrested at her home in the Indian capital.

Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna told NDTV news channel that the case was being investigated by the Home Affairs Ministry.

Gupta is accused of passing information to Pakistani intelligence agencies, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said.

Both Krishna and Prakash were in Thimphu, Bhutan, for a summit of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation, or SAARC, which comprises India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, the Maldives and Bangladesh.

Gupta, who had been working in the press and information section of the embassy for three years, had been under surveillance for more than six months.

Investigations were under way and Gupta was cooperating, Prakash said. He gave no other details and did not take any questions from reporters.

Gupta was arrested Friday, although the arrest was not announced until Tuesday, Press Trust of India news agency said. She will remain in police custody for the next four days, PTI said.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947. Relations between the two South Asian rivals were further strained after a deadly terror attack on Mumbai, India's financial hub, in 2008 killed 166 people. India blamed the attack on Pakistan-based Islamic terror groups.

The arrest comes ahead of a meeting between India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Yusuf Raza Gilani in Bhutan on Thursday.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in Thimphu that Pakistan had not received any official communication from India about the arrest of the diplomat, PTI said.

Krishna in his interview said that India would complete its own investigation first before taking up the matter with Pakistan.