Even in the dark world of international espionage there are rarely seen or discussed protocols. The recognition that nation spies on nation irrespective of whether they are friend or foe is one of those; and India and Pakistan have spied on one-another since Partition. The machinery of spying is not dissimilar to that employed in the Cold War, but with the more aggressive interventions that go beyond the mere gathering of intelligence being weighted to the Indian rather than the Pakistan side. There appears to be no hard evidence in the public domain that Pakistan is actively seeking to destabilise the Indian state as a whole — but an emerging body of evidence that that is exactly what India is doing in Pakistan.
The latest in the round of mutual expulsions of Indian diplomats accused of espionage is unusual for the attached detail of their alleged activities. Eight Indian diplomats are said to have been engaged in illegal activities counter to their diplomatic status.This is indicative of a sophisticated network of agents targeting a broad swathe of activities focused on social and economic instability and a baseline weakening of the state of Pakistan. It is vital that India and Pakistan maintain diplomatic relations, and as noted above it is accepted that within the diplomatic cohort there are going to be intelligence gatherers on both sides. Gathering intelligence is one thing, seeking the destabilisation of the state quite another.
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