|“Nothing extraordinary” in Norway spy revelation: Pakistan|
| [20.01.2012, 08:52am, Fri. GMT]|
|Pakistan and Norway on Thursday scrambled to contain the fallout of disclosure about presence of Norwegian intelligence operatives in Pakistan. “We have excellent relations with Norway and an ongoing cooperation in counter-terrorism. There is nothing extraordinary about the revelation,” Mr Abdul Basit, who heads the Europe desk at the Foreign Office, told Dawn.com shortly after meeting the Norwegian ambassador to Pakistan Ms Cecilie Landsverk.Mr Basit denied that Ambassador Landsverk had been summoned to the Foreign Office even though the FO spokesman had at the weekly media briefing said that details were being sought from the Norwegian government.|
Mr Basit claimed that the Norwegian envoy had also planned to brief him about the situation.
Meanwhile, a Reuters story quoted Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar saying she wanted more information from Norway’s envoy.
“The ambassador has been called to be able to explain whatever is happening, because this seemed like serious news so we obviously want to get to the bottom of it,” she said.
Security obsessed Pakistani security services have always been paranoid about the presence of foreign spies in the country. But, they were also tight lipped on the leak.
Norwegian Embassy refused to comment on Ambassador Landsverk’s trip to the Foreign Office or presence of their spies in Pakistan.
Norwegian Security Chief Janne Kristiansen had earlier made a startling disclosure in Stortinget (Norwegian parliament) that agents affiliated with E-wing of military intelligence were present in Pakistan.
Ms Kristiansen quit after the slip-up. Her resignation was accepted for having “breached confidentiality through the disclosure of classified information”.
Meanwhile in Oslo, Second Secretary at the Pakistan Embassy met the Director of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry to discuss the matter.