Farooq Hameed Khan Madhuri Gupta, in a Delhi court, said: I am being framed, facing charges of passing on information to her Pakistani handlers, while posted as second secretary in the Media and Information Wing of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. As per Indian news reports, the 53 year old, unmarried, specialist Urdu interpreter was arrested after being summoned to New Delhi in connection with the SAARC Summit. Hawks and power groups within the Indian establishment are known to influence the political decision making, especially when related to Pakistan. It is still a widely accepted view that the Mumbai tragedy was staged by the Indian intelligence agencies with external help to derail the peace process. Furthermore, despite PM Manmohan Singhs agreement with PM Yousuf Raza Gilani in the Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration to delink the peace process with acts of terrorism, yet the Establishment prevailed and Manmohan Singh took a U-turn on his return to India. Nevertheless, the Indian establishments plan to cast a shadow or act as a spoiler over the SAARC Summit was clearly exposed in its timing and the manner that the Madhuri Gupta case hit the Indian media waves. More surprising was the speed at which the Indian media unfolded the story. The media hype was observed to be specially high and sensational during the period of the SAARC Summit, slowing down after the summit concluded. However, Pakistan responded with a cool, stating that it is Indias internal affair. The Madhuri Gupta episode raises many questions. Why was the disclosure of this spy scandal in Indian media timed to coincide with the SAARC Summit? Was it aimed to malign and embarrass the Pakistani prime minister, who heads the countrys elite intelligence agencies? Was it designed to sabotage the much-awaited Gilani-Manmohan meeting the next day, on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit? For once, these negative efforts backfired as both prime ministers went ahead with their over an hour long one-to-one meeting. So one hopes that the Indian prime minister will honour his agreement to resume the composite dialogue and not allow it to be hijacked again by the Indian establishment through the well engineered and crafted Madhuris breaking news. A few contradictions seem obvious in this case. It is being stated that Madhuri was a low level B grade official with no access to classified material, who had not transferred any vital information to her Pakistani contacts. At the same time, she has been booked under the Official Secrets Act for leaking out Indian plans in Afghanistan. Who would believe that such a junior level functionary whose primary job was to prepare daily news clippings or monitor local media reports could play around with such critical information? Whats more, the Indian media reported that Madhuri was discreetly recalled from Islamabad in connection with the SAARC Summit. One wonders, if the Indian government required such a high level pretext when dealing with an official of her status. Given the unique nature of Indo-Pak relationship, diplomats posted in either countrys High Commission must surely be amongst the best and most trustworthy of the lot. If the experienced Madhuri Gupta, who had reportedly served earlier in other Indian foreign missions, compromised while serving in perhaps Indias most sensitive Islamabad mission, it reflects the deep sense of insecurity and disloyalty that seem to permeate Indian officials selected for such prized appointments. More so, when there have been similar cases in the past as reported in Indian media. When foreign missions host parties and receptions, they aim to improve their countrys image and relations with the host country, by interacting with local personalities of diverse backgrounds. In case of country like India, such occasions also provide a good opportunity to develop contacts with selected personalities and even cultivate them to promote Indian interests. The Indian High Commission is specially known for its lavish 'booze parties and musical evenings that attract some of the so-called Pakistani secularists, politicians, businessmen, NGO activists, media men and even senior retired government officers etc. While the nation mourned the shocking Parade Lane and Moon Market tragedies in December last year, the Indian High Commission went ahead with one such party that was attended by many from the Islamabad elite. The commonly employed and easily understandable spying modus operandi would therefore involve cultivation of local Pakistanis by the Indian intelligence sleuths posted in their High Commission. Why would the low ranking Madhuri Gupta take the risk of communicating with Pakistani intelligence officials (and vice versa) in the presence of surveillance and security systems installed in high security missions, like the Indian High Commission? It just does not make sense Previously, the Indian media has reported few recent cases of breach of trust and national security by Indian officials, while posted in missions abroad. There have also been reports of some Indian army generals being court martialed on financial corruption charges. Isnt the betrayal of national trust by the Indian government elite a stain on Rising and Shining India? Are these the early signs of a degeneration of Indian pride and nationalism? Then again, the Indian medias biggest revelation that Madhuri Gupta may have converted to Shia Islam must come as a bombshell to Hindu India pride. Given the apparent anger and hostility by the Indian media, as well as extremist groups, towards the Shoaib-Sania wedding affair, Madhuri Ji may also be heading for difficult times. Was Madhuri indeed an undercover Indian intelligence agent? Was she and her undercover boss recovered in time to pre-empt the embarrassment of their blown up cover? Will Madhuri Gupta be made the scapegoat for the intra-intelligence rivalry that rocked the Indian High Commission? Her lawyer, Joginder Dahiya, however maintains that his conversation with Madhuri showed that she had not fallen into any honey trap. The writer is a retired brigadier. Email: fhkhan54@gmail.com