New Delhi: The Chinese establishment in Afghanistan, led by Ambassador to Afghanistan, Wang Yu had to meet the top leadership of Afghanistan, including President Ashraf Ghani and First Vice President Amrullah Saleh four times to placate them after the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s spy agency, arrested from Kabul. 10 Chinese spies who were engaged in “terrorism”, The Sunday Guardian has learnt through highly placed sources in the Afghan capital.
These sources said that Saleh, who had himself led the NDS in the past and Ghani, were “extremely” upset over Chinese spy agencies working on Afghan soil.
The spy ring was unearthed last month in an operation that was “going on for some time” to ensure that enough proof was collected by the NDS to present them before the Chinese embassy officials.
The Chinese delegation, which had to meet and request the Afghani officials repeatedly for the release and repatriation of the Chinese delegation, included Wang Yu, other Chinese diplomats and few other “officials” (likely to be representative of the Ministry of State security or MSS, Chinese spy agency).
The objective of the Chinese espionage team, which included a woman, though not officially shared by Afghanistan officials, according to experts, was likely focused to dent Indian and US capabilities and assets in the region, both countries with which China is engaged in an overt and covert confrontation right now.
Chinese citizens Li Yanyang and Sha Hong, who are among the two who were arrested, were staying in Kabul for at least six months and were in close contacts with overground workers of the Haqqani network. The close ties between the Haqqani network with India-focused terror groups like Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Jaish-e-Mohammad are well documented.
The 10 Chinese spies were allowed to fly back to China on a specially arranged flight on 2 January. The details of what happened in these four meetings between the Afghan leadership and the Chinese delegation has been kept under strict wraps indicating that the Chinese delegation was likely subjected to “intense scrutiny” by Ghani and Saleh.
Razwan Murad, the head of media, office of Amruallah Saleh, said that the matter was resolved keeping the bilateral relations between the two countries on mind. “We cannot share the operational details or any other information apart from the fact that 10 Chinese citizens were engaged in terrorism, fundamentalism and extremism. Since we share a cordial relation with China the case was closed”, he told The Sunday Guardian.