The lady, it seems, is a spy

This just in: An Indian diplomat posted in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad has been arrested for allegedly spying and transferring strategic information about India to arch foe, Pakistan, according to Indian media reports.

The diplomat, 53-year-old Madhuri Gupta, was summoned to New Delhi a few days ago on the pretext of holding discussions on the upcoming SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Coopertation) summit in Bhutan.  She was then arrested and produced before a Delhi court. 

Indian media reports say Gupta is a “spinster” – the word “single” apparently has not made it into many Indian news organizations’ lexicons. Apparently, she got a hold of sensitive information from the station chief of the Indian intelligence agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) in Islamabad, a certain Mr. R. K. Sharma.

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Champagne Nights in Kabul: The S&M Guide to the New Great Game

It’s a last-minute, two-day stopover – sounds innocuous enough.

But nothing is innocuous in this region. And so, a last-minute, two-day stopover has triggered a new game of intrigue - complete with the usual suspicions and false starts – in the region’s capitals.

Round one kicked off with the weekend announcement that Afghan President Hamid Karzai would stop by the Indian capital of New Delhi on Monday on his way to the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) summit in Bhutan.

Since Kabul International Airport does not feature direct Kabul-Thimpu flights to the Bhutanese capital, a stopover in New Delhi seems sensible and well...innocuous.

Aha! Wrong.

Afghanistan is the board-game on which Islamabad and New Delhi play out their mutually suspicious, mutually antagonistic interests. So, if an Afghan leader drops by one capital, you can be dead sure the other capital is bristling.