Berlin: Pakistani citizen jailed in Germany on charges of spying on high-profile citizen(s) for Iranian Revolutionary Guards is an affiliate of a Karachi-based political party and was hooked up with his handlers in Iran through the militant wing of the party, Daily Times has learnt. Though a spokesperson at Pakistani embassy in Berlin refused comment on whether or not counsel access was arranged for 31-year-old Mustafa Haider Syed Naqfi, a source in the embassy said that a diplomat assigned to the case was in touch with the convict who is serving a four-year-three-month-long sentence. The diplomat was also pursuing the matter with German authorities, the source added. Further, the source said that Syed Naqfi’s network in Karachi had been busted by Pakistani intelligence officials. Before his arrival in Germany in 2012, Syed Naqfi had visited Iran several times on the pretext of visits to religious sites. In Iran, he attended several training sessions, the source said. Naqfi had been caught by German authorities with sensitive data about Social Democratic Party (SPD) politician Reinhold Robbe. During interrogation, he revealed that he was tasked with spying on politicians affiliated with Social Democratic Party of Germany. He also told his interrogators that the information he was gathering was meant to facilitate assassination attempts on high-profile citizens in case conflict between Iran and Germany or Israel was to escalate. A report prepared by German interior ministry earlier in the year had claimed that Iranian intelligence operatives active in the country were second only to those working on clandestine operations for Russia. The report held that most of the Iranian spies were working on German personnel associated with Israel. Meanwhile, Foreign Office in Islamabad has remained silent on the issue throughout the whole episode from Naqfi’s arrest to his conviction. Senior officers speaking on condition of anonymity have attributed the silence to the lack of a full-time foreign minister in the cabinet of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. They said the country could not register a strong protest with Iranian government in the absence of the foreign minister as the then Prime Minister, who had the additional charge of the ministry, remained surrounded by problems including corruption cases against him and his family members. When contacted for an official version, Foreign Secretary’s Office Rabia Kasuri refused comment. She has yet to respond to a questionnaire shared with her through email, as per her request. Though Iran has consistently denied involvement in anti-Pakistan activities, there have been incidents that have impacted diplomatic ties between the two Asian neighbours. Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Mansoor was reportedly assassinated in a drone strike on his way back from a secret mission in Iran. Mullah Mansoor’s supporters had accused Pakistan of tipping CIA about his location as he crossed border from Iran into Pakistani province of Balochistan. Then, Indian citizen Kulbhoshan Jadhav sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan on charges of espionage was also caught by Pakistani authorities while he was reportedly crossing border from Iran into Pakistan. Later, security officials stated that Jadhav had admitted during interrogation that he was running a network of Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) from Iran. Published in Daily Times, August 30th 2017.