News about Pakistan’s spy agency ISI trying to use girls from Karachi and Rawalpindi to lay honeytraps for Indian army personnel through social media should make every Indian sit up and take notice. In my prime time show ‘Aaj Ki Baat’ on Thursday night, we showed videos and chats of how Pakistani girls sitting in Karachi, Hyderabad and Rawalpindi, are posing as Indian girls, to entice Indian army personnel to part with sensitive information about army installations, troop movements and missile launch sites.
News about this diabolical ISI plan should make every Indian army personnel and their family members alert. They should be careful about with whom they are chatting on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms. It all appears to be part of a large conspiracy of Pakistan army to use social media to ferret out secret information about our army installations and plans.
Pakistani spy agency ISI has set up dozens of call centres where Pakistani girls, posing as Indian Hindu girls, are trying to lure Indian army personnel through social media. Artificial intelligence tools and internet are being used for carrying out this dangerous game. I have several videos and chats which show how these Pakistani girls are working for their spy agency.
They create fake profiles, posing as female relatives of Indian army personnel, put bindi on their forehead and wear ‘kalava’ (sacred thread) on their wrists to pose as Hindus, and in the background, they put pictures of Gandhi or Hindu gods and goddesses to create a perfectly fake background.
The female spies wear traditional dress worn by Hindu girls, so that there should not be a whiff of doubt about them being Pakistanis. Through guile, and using beauty and sexual chats as tools, these female spies ferret out secret information from defence personnel, even before the latter realize that they have parted with something very important.
In ‘Operation Hyderabad’ launched by ISI, girls have been recruited in Pakistan for this purpose at two call centres, one in Hyderabad and the other in Rawalpindi. They have been trained to do data mining, locating Indian defence personnel by typing keywords. They even trace defence personnel through their typical army haircuts. A single girl handles more than 50 profiles in a day.
India TV reporter Rajesh Kumar and Defence Editor Manish Prasad, got these videos and chats verified and authenticated from army sources. According to Military Intelligence, which decoded these links, the girls carry on intimate chats with their targets and after taking the quarry into confidence, they spend much time before seeking secret information. Once the target’s confidence is gained, the female spies manage to collect highly confidential information.
In ‘Aaj Ki Baat’, we showed one such Pakistani girl, codenamed Pooja Rajput, operating from Hyderabad in Sindh province. Posing herself as a former nurse from Military Nursing Service, she used to contact Indian defence personnel. After initial humorous jokes and light banter during chats, the girl gradually takes the target into confidence, by offering to listen to his personal and family problems. She often used to offer money using hawala route or by simply transferring money from a bank account. She also offers material help to the target.
The girl acts in such a manner that the target could never realize that she is a Pakistani, not an Indian Hindu girl. Locations of several IP addresses for these chats have been traced to Pakistan by Military Intelligence. Fake profiles in the names of Neha Sharma, Sanjana Joshi, Sonia Patel, Anya Sharma, Priyanshi Rajput, Tina Agrawal, Srishti Dixit (all names of Hindu girls) are created. Their priorities include, collection of secret info about army commander’s visit, photos of sensitive locations, and army communications.
Let me illustrate one case. One Jitendra Singh, a garment trader from Barmer, Rajasthan, was arrested in Bengaluru recently. He was actually spying for Pakistan and used to wear an Indian army uniform. Similarly, a railway employee Bharat from Jaipur, and Sandip, who runs a gas agency in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, were also arrested.
On checking the call data records of cellphones used by all these three accused, it was found that they were in contact with Pakistani girls operating from phone numbers originating in Hyderabad and Rawalpindi. Pictures of Pakistani girls were recovered from their cellphones.
On September 15, Odisha Police arrested four contractual workers of DRDO’s Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Balasore district on charge of espionage. They were leaking secrets to foreign agents after being honey trapped. The Crime Branch has taken over the probe. While being taken to the court, the four admitted to chatting on WhatsApp and Facebook with a woman from UP for several days before they were arrested.
The case has been handed over to National Investiation Agency (NIA) which is investigating the profile of the woman who was chatting with these workers. The four were accused of handing over sensitive info about the missile movement and names of scientists working at ITR. They were reportedly in touch with their ISI contacts in Karachi.
In some cases, the Pakistani girls, posing as Indian Hindus, create an impression on their targets that they live abroad, say London or USA, and tell their targets that meeting them physically was not possible. They are however available on WhatsApp video calls or Facebook. In one case, the Pakistani girl described herself as Ishanika Ahir, working as a desk clerk. In many of the chats, there are obscene remarks loaded with sexual innuendoes, which I could not share with our viewers.
The girl, profiled as Ishanika, was handling nearly 50 targets at a time, using different identities. She was Ishanika to some, and Navya Chopra to some others. On social media, the pictures of the girl are identical. She is an ISI handler working for a safe house at West Ridge Road, Rawalpindi, according to military intelligence.
There are reports of some secret telephone exchanges set up inside India by Pakistani agencies, from where internet calls are made to Indian targets, so that the traces of Pakistani locations are obliterated. ISI is openly recruiting these girls by placing ads in newspapers, in the name of Fatima Jinnah Women’s University.
The ad says, a media house linked to Pakistan Army, requires female social media specialists who can interact through virtual conversations with targets. On September 13, a counter-intelligence team of Punjab Police from Ludhiana arrested a man, Jaswinder Singh over his links with a Pakistani girl, who posed herself as Jasleen Brar from Bathinda.
The police commissioner of Ludhiana said that the Pakistani girl posing as Jasleen Brar used an OTP given by Jaswinder to activate a WhatsApp number and chatted with at least seven defence personnel.
Sources have said that in order to access phones of army personnel, these ISI handlers use a particular malware by sending a link for downloading their fake pictures. The moment the target clicks the link, all data in his phone are compromised. All secret or sensitive information, videos or chats are passed on automatically to the ISI handler. In other words, software cloning takes place.
ISI is also using dark net now. Indian army has alerted all its personnel by sharing 20 particular email IDs and details of spoofing have been sent to all units. Army has cautioned all ranks not to click any dubious link, otherwise all information stored in their cellphones would be compromised. Army personnel have been asked to alert their family members too, not to click any unknown links. Jawans and officers have been asked not to upload their pictures wearing army uniform on social media, including cellphones.
Many of us must have read about the use of ‘vishkanya’ for espionage and murder of enemies during Kautilya’s (Chanakya) period. Pakistani girls who are being used by their spy agency belong to this category. They have been trained how to honeytrap army personnel. I want to thank our Military Intelligence for foiling this conspiracy hatched by ISI. It is a shameful act on part of Pakistan army, which is using girls for espionage. There are only a few countries in the world who use women and girls for espionage activity. Pakistan is one of them.
Our countrymen, particularly our armed forces personnel and their family members, should remain alert against such nefarious activities. All of us must ensure that not a single critical info about our defence preparedness must be revealed to our enemies, at any cost.
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