PM Modi’s Big Masterstroke: Saving Indian Veterans from ISI Plot 2024

PM Modi foiled Pakistani ISI’s plot against Indian ex-Navy veterans sentenced to death in Doha, Qatar.

He not only got them released from Qatar and succeeded in bringing them back to India safe and sound, amidst a lot of legal hurdles.

This is considered a big diplomatic victory, especially at a time when the Pakistani’s ISI was known to be having a lot of penetration within various sections of the government of Qatar.

The people of India had huge expectations for the Modi government to secure the safe release of Indian defense veterans ever since Qatar Courts had set aside their death sentences in December 2023.

This safe release of the 8 Indian veterans is believed to have been facilitated by PM Narendra Modi and his government.

Besides foiling the ISI Plot PM Narendra Modi also saved 6 Billion Dollars (then equivalent to Rupees 48000/- Crore), and also increased India’s contribution towards global clean energy from 6% to 15%.

Let’s explore the article to understand the efforts put in by PM Narendra Modi, NSA Ajit Doval, and EAM S. Jaishankar.

Indian Veterans Employment in Qatar:

Earlier, in May 2021 A secret deal was signed between the Governments of Italy & Qatar, according to which an Italian company had to manufacture two nuclear submarines for Qatar, and they were to be delivered to Qatar by the start of 2022. And a company named Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services had been given the contract to train their navy on these two nuclear submarines. In 2022, the Indian veterans had started training the Qatar Navy on these two submarines.

These eight naval veterans after their retirement, had joined the Qatar-based Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, established in 2014 and owned by Khamis Al Ajami, a retired squadron leader of the Royal Air Force of Oman. He then had world-class training infrastructure for the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces and was at that time conducting radar navigation training for their cadets. He was also arrested in the case but procured bail in November 2022.

Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services

Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services was situated in the Defence Training Sector and had a contract of training the Qatar Navy for radar navigation and bridge work, Indian Navy personnel are known to be the best in setting up bridge systems on navy ships.

Therefore Indian Navy Veterans are a lot in demand for such work and training by such companies not only in the Middle East but all over the world not only due to their skills, efficiency and capabilities but also due to their honesty and integrity. This company had 75+ Indian employees working with them. Due to all this Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services had become the most demanded company on the international stage for the training of Navy personnel.

The ISI Plot In Doha, Qatar for Arrest of Innocent Indian Veterans:

In the past couple of years then, in the same sector, a few companies had come up in Qatar and they had employed British / Royal Ex-Navy veterans & Pakistan’s Ex-Navy veterans, in a few of those companies even the Pakistani Navy’s Generals were on the Board of Directors of those companies and had invested millions of Dollars.

In spite of all the efforts these companies were unable to procure Government contracts from the Middle East and the Government of Qatar, and all the contracts were being awarded to Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, which was then the most trusted company most probably due to the skills, efficiency, honesty and integrity of the Indian veterans and employees. Due to this, the Pakistani Generals were angry and frustrated and responsibility to solve these problems was given to Pakistan’s ISI.

In February 2022, a secret ISI meeting was held in Aabpara, Islamabad, where they decided to get the Indian veterans kicked out from Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services because their companies would not be able to get business in that market till Indian veterans continued to be employed with Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, especially in that market and therefore they decided to spoil the image of the Indian veterans. For this purpose, the ISI launched a special sabotage operation.

As per the ISI special sabotage operation plot, in July 2022 Qatar Intelligence Agency Qatar State Services (QSS) started receiving Intelligence input – feeds from different sources.

Indicating the QSS that some of the Indian veterans employed with the Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services were working for Israel’s Mossad. According to the Intelligence feeds, the Indian veterans were sharing secret information about the two nuclear submarines received by Qatar from Italy with Israel’s Mossad.

After this the Qatar State Services (QSS) Officials held a meeting with the Qatar Navy Officials. In this meeting, the Qatar Navy Officials informed the Qatar Intelligence – Qatar State Services (QSS) that the Indian veterans could not have any access to any confidential information about the two nuclear submarines procured by Qatar from Italy, as they had only been provided restricted access in those two nuclear submarines and the Indian veterans did not have any access to the weapon, radar, and armaments package area in the two nuclear submarines.

At this stage, it then appeared that the Intelligence input – feeds received by the QSS were fake and investigation would die down, but that did not happen as the active ISI Counter Intelligence Operatives in Qatar got the smell, and they launched the next phase of their special sabotage operation plot.

Accordingly, the ISI operatives put in many efforts to lure Naval Officers Of Qatar Navy by way of blackmail, monetary lures, and other personal or secret methods were finally successful in breaking one Naval Officer from the Qatar Navy to work for the ISI.

Two weeks later this Naval Officer of Qatar Navy as per the instructions from Pakistan’s ISI contacted One Officer of Qatar’s Intelligence Agency – Qatar State Services (QSS) and on the immediate next day this Naval Officer was called to the office of the QSS.

Role of Qatar Navy, Qatar Intelligence – Qatar State Services

In this meeting, the Naval Officer of the Qatar Navy informed QSS that the Indian veterans had developed very deep friendships with a few Naval Officers in the Qatar Navy and a few cadets of the Qatar Navy, and they had started visiting each other houses and having family get to-gathers jointly and quite frequently. Using this relationship it was not at all a big task for the Indian veterans to procure secret information about the weapon radar and nuclear capabilities of two nuclear submarines procured by Qatar from Italy.

On further questioning, without waiting for a second this Naval Officer of Qatar gave the names of the 8 Indian veterans to the QSS, which were provided to him by the ISS Agent posted at Pakistan’s Embassy in Qatar.

Further evidence (although fake) was routinely being covertly provided by the ISI To QSS.

Arrest of Innocent Indian Veterans

On 30 August 2022, 8 innocent Indian Veterans were arrested by Qatar Police in Doha under fake allegations of Espionage, meaning for selling secrets of Qatar’s Submarines to Israel. At that time the post of Indian Ambassador to Qatar was also lying vacant.

The Sunday Guardian Report

An interview of a former high-level employee of Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services was then published in the Sunday Guardian, wherein he had been quoted as saying that the Indian employees of Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services were innocent and they were diamonds in the crown of the company and it was not at all impossible that they would do any such thing for money or any other reasons and Indians were the most trusted people of the Government of Qatar.

He was also quoted to have said that the incidents were nothing but a geo-political & corporate conspiracy against the Indians and Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services.

Explore how PM Modi outwitted ISI and their secret plot, securing the safe release of Indian ex-navy veterans with a lucrative energy deal defying all odds.

Efforts of PM Modi along with this team of EAM S. Jaishankar & NSA Ajit Doval

Indian PM Modi along with NSA Ajit Doval and EAM Shri S. Jaishankar started following up on the matter and started putting in efforts for the release of the Indian veterans and to ensure their safe return to India.

1st October 2022: Dy Chief Of Indian Mission at Indian Embassy Qatar Shri Sandeep Kumar met the innocent Indian veterans in Doha Jail, and assured them that the necessary steps would be taken to get them out of jail.

3rd October 2022: As a result of the efforts of Dy Chief Of Indian Mission at the Indian Embassy Qatar Shri Sandeep Kumar, the 8 innocent Indian veterans were for the first time granted Consular Access.

1st March 2023: Several Applications filed by the lawyers of 8 innocent Indian veterans were continuously dismissed by the Qatar Courts.

25 March 2023: Charges were filed against 8 innocent Indian veterans and the Qatar Courts quietly expedited the trial against them.

22 April 2023: Qatar-based Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services announced the permanent closure of all of its operations in Doha, Qatar, and demanded for resignations from all its Indian Employees.

31 May 2023: Qatar-based Al Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services finally wound up its operations in Doha, Qatar, and all its Indian employees reach back to India.

The trial against the 6 innocent Indian veterans continued behind closed doors and even their family members were not being provided any information about all this.

11th June 2023: Shri Vipul was appointed as Indian Ambassador to Qatar, and after assuming charge in a few days he started working on this case.

4th August 2023: All 8 innocent Indian veterans were shifted from their prison cells to the jail ward, where they were kept in batches of two persons in each cell, instead of alone as previously kept in the prison cells each being of 6 x 9 feet each cell being of a total of 54 sq. feet area.

26th October 2023: Qatar Court pronounced death sentences for all 8 innocent 8 Indian veterans, immediately after which PM Modi had a high-level meeting in connection with this case. External Affairs Minister Shri S. Jaishankar, NSA Ajit Doval & Indian Ambassador Shri Vipul were reportedly a part of this high-level meeting.

30 October 2023: External Affairs Minister Shri S. Jaishankar met the families of each of those 8 veterans and assured them of this case being the top priority of the Government of India and the Ministry of External Affairs shall not sit idle till these 8 veterans reach back home.

In the first week of November 2023: The Indian External Intelligence Agency R&AW started an operation to collect evidence about the ISI conspiracy in Qatar.

Thereafter, Indian NSA Shri Ajit Doval & EAM Shri S. Jaishankar spoke with their counterparts in America Jake Sullivan (US NSA) & Antony Blinken (US Secretary Of State) as both of them were aware that the relations between the US and Qatar had highly strengthened and Qatar had been given the status of a major Non-NATO Ally about two years ago. Qatar was also a forward headquarters for the Central Command of the US and had Al Udeid as the biggest base of the US Airforce.

After this NSA Shri Ajit Doval had a secret meeting with his Qatar counterpart, Qatar NSA Shri Muhammad bin Ahmad Al Musnad

7th November 2023: The Indian veterans are given again provided consular access by Qatar Authorities, as a result of NSA Ajit Doval’s meeting with his Qatar counterpart NSA Shri Muhammad bin Ahmad Al Musnad, and the date of their hanging was postponed till the decision of judgment on their appeals.

9th November 2023: the Indian MEA announced that an appeal had been filed against the death sentence pronounced against the Indian veterans and on the conditions of maintaining confidentiality the Qatar Authorities had provided the details of the charges against he 8 Indian veterans.

In the meantime, to increase the international pressure on Qatar, both External Affairs Minister Shri S. Jaishankar & Indian NSA Ajit Doval were also continuously in touch with Tehran, Riyadh & Muscat authorities.

On 18th November 2023: India’s R&AW machinery was successful in making the ISI Agent in the Qatar Navy to provide them with a copy of the fake evidence against the Indian veterans, provided by him to QSS (Qatar Intelligence – Qatar State Services), which was then immediately sent to New Delhi upon receipt.

Immediately thereafter PM Modi held a meeting with NSA Shri Ajit Doval & EAM Shri S. Jaishankar, and as decided thereafter NSA Ajit Doval went to Qatar and met his Qatar counterpart Qatar NSA Shri Muhammad bin Ahmad Al Musnad, and EAM Shri S. Jaishankar had started putting in efforts to arrange a meeting between PM Modi & Emir of Qatar Shri Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

1st December 2023: Emir of Qatar Shri Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met PM Modi in Dubai, UAE, in COP 28, UN’s International Conference on Climate Change, in this meeting they also discussed India – Middle East – Europe Economic Corridor, besides various bilateral business deals between Qatar & India.

28th December 2023: In the appeal filed by 8 Indian veterans, the Court of Appeals in Qatar set aside their death sentences and converted the sentences into imprisonment ranging from 5 years to 25 years.

An Appeal was filed to set aside the sentence of imprisonment and release of the 8 Indian veterans, which was going to be a tedious, lengthy & time-consuming process. But PM Modi wanted the Indian veterans to be back home at the earliest, therefore it was decided to ensure that these 8 Indian veterans should get a pardon from the Emir of Qatar Shri Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

In January 2024: PM Modi spoke with the Emir of Qatar Shri Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and he expressed his readiness to grant pardon to the 7 Indian veterans, after which Indian NSA Ajit Doval received a phone call from PM Foreign Minister of Qatar Shri Jassim Al Thanim.

He informed NSA Ajit Doval that the 8 Indians would be granted a pardon from the Emir of Qatar Shri Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in the month of Ramzan (Ramadan) i.e. between 11th March 2024 to 10th April 2024, according to their age-old tradition.

NSA Ajit Doval along with EAM S. Jaishankar immediately met PM Modi to inform him of these developments, for which PM Modi expressed that he was not ready to wait and he wanted that the Indian veterans to celebrate the Indian festival of Holi (24th – 25th of March 2024) with their respective families, and told them to do everything possible and get them back home at the earliest. After this, NSA Ajit Doval left for Doha, Qatar.

In Doha, Qatar, NSA Ajit Doval learned that the Emir of Qatar wanted to finalize a deal of Natural gas with India, which if failed could be taken as a major diplomatic failure on the part of the Emir of Qatar.

Explore how PM Modi outwitted ISI and their secret plot, securing the safe release of Indian ex-navy veterans with a lucrative energy deal defying all odds.

Sealing The Final Deal

Thereafter PM Modi gave a call to the Emir of Qatar Shri Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

6th February 2024: India’s Petronet LNG Ltd. signed a deal with Qatar Energy worth 78 Billion Dollars (then equivalent to Rupees 6,24000/-) according to which India would annually purchase 7.5 million tons of natural gas from Qatar.

Saturday 10th February 2024: the Jailor of Doha Jail along with his staff went to mee the 8 Indian veterans and told them to pack their belongings and be ready by 9.00 AM the next morning, without divulging any further details.

On Sunday 11th February 2024: in the morning one by one all 8 Indian veterans were removed from their Jail Cells and taken to the bus standing in the jail compound and made to sit in that bus. The 8 Indian veterans did not get any replies to their frequent questions as to where they were being taken.

This bus took the Indian veterans to the Office of the Indian Embassy in Doha where they were all garlanded and welcomed with pooja thalis in the Indian traditional process by the Indian Staff and Officers at the Indian Embassy.

Late in the night on 11th February 2024, the Indigo Airlines routine flight to New Delhi took off from Doha International Airport had Indian veterans aboard, with about 240 passengers aboard it as usual, and no one on this flight was aware of the Indian veterans being aboard this flight.

During this time the family & relatives of the Indian veterans started receiving calls from the Ministry of External Affairs informing them of the scheduled arrival of the Indian veterans and they couldn’t believe the speed with which the Indian Government had successfully ensured all this, and after this news went viral on social media, the entire nation had only one question and the question was that how did PM Modi do this.

After the Emir of Qatar had decided to grant pardon in the month of Ramzan (Ramadan), PM Modi in his communication with the Emir of Qatar had told him that the natural gas deal would be given to Qatar immediately if the Indian veterans were granted pardon and left immediately.

In fact his deal was not a new one, as India was procuring natural gas from Qatar for decades, and this was only a renewal of the original deal signed on 31st July 1999 which was to expire in 2028. This deal was renewed at a savings of about 6 Billion Dollars (then equivalent to 48000 Crore Rupees), which was cheaper by about 0.80 Dollars per British Thermal Unit. This has also increased India’s contribution towards clean energy from 6% to 15%.

[Also Read: A Powerful Man in Centuries: Lord Shree Ram or Narendra Modi?]

Ministerial Inputs

The Ministerial sources in Qatar, as well as India, confirmed that the release of the innocent Indian veterans from Qatar was almost next to impossible, and it became possible only due to the firm dedication and willpower of India’s first nationalist PM Modi, along with two other benefits derived by India being the in financial benefits of saving 6 Billion Dollars (then equivalent to Rupees 48000 Crore) and increasing India’s contribution towards global clean energy from 6% to 15%.

Conclusion

PM Shri Modi by his intervention, with the support of EAM Shri S. Jaishankar & NSA Ajit Doval

1. Successfully foiled the Pakistani ISI conspiracy in Doha Qatar thereby saving innocent Indian veterans,

2. Saved the Indian economy by ensuring the natural gas deal (which anyway would have to be renewed with Qatar) at a cheaper rate by saving 6 Billion Dollars (then equivalent to Rupees 48000/-),

3. Improving India’s contribution towards global clean energy from 6% to 15%,

thereby, directly or indirectly benefiting the Indian economy instead of the expected huge spending (the cost of which the Indian electorate would have minded for the Indian veterans) for the release of the Indian veterans, thereby killing 3 birds with one single arrow.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered Here:

Why are Indian Navy veterans in Qatar?

The Indian Navy veterans were in Qatar to provide training and services to Qatar’s armed forces and security agencies through Al Dahra Global Technologies, a Doha-based private firm. In August 2022, the veterans were detained on false charges.

In an important diplomatic victory for India, eight former Indian Navy personnel who were on death sentences in Qatar have been released. These veterans were employed by Al Dahra Global Technologies, a Doha-based private company, providing training and services to Qatar’s military and security sectors.

The 8 Indian veterans which includes Captains Navtej Gill and Saurabh Vasisht, Commanders Purnendu Tiwari, Amit Nagpal, SK Gupta, BK Verma and Sugunakar Pakala, and sailor Ragesh, were detained in August 2022 under false charges. Initially sentenced to death, their sentences were later commuted to prison terms ranging from three to 25 years following intervention from New Delhi.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed that seven of the eight individuals have returned to India. This resolution of the case, which involved the dropping of espionage charges, signifies a major diplomatic breakthrough between India and Qatar.

Who are the 8 Navy officers freed in Qatar? / Who are the Indian Navy officers released by Qatar?

The eight Indian Navy veterans who were released from Qatar are:

Captain Navtej Gill

Captain Saurabh Vasisht

Commander Purnendu Tiwari

Commander Amit Nagpal

Commander SK Gupta

Commander BK Verma

Commander Sugunakar Pakala

Sailor Ragesh

In August 2022, eight individuals who were working for a private firm in Doha providing services to Qatar’s armed forces and security agencies were detained. However, following diplomatic intervention by India, they were later released. Seven out of the total eight individuals have already returned to India. This release is considered a major diplomatic victory for India.

Did Qatar release Indian Navy veterans? / Did Qatar free Indian Navy veterans?

In a significant diplomatic achievement for India, eight Indian Navy veterans, previously held in Qatar, have been released. These individuals were employed by Al Dahra Global Technologies, a Doha-based private firm offering training and services to Qatar’s military and security agencies.

The veterans, detained in August 2022, faced undisclosed charges. While there were speculations of espionage, the exact charges were not revealed by either Qatari or Indian authorities. The detained individuals included Captains Navtej Gill and Saurabh Vasisht, Commanders Purnendu Tiwari, Amit Nagpal, SK Gupta, BK Verma and Sugunakar Pakala, and sailor Ragesh.

Initially, a Doha court sentenced them to death. However, on December 28, the court commuted the death sentences to prison terms ranging from three to 25 years. Seven of the eight Indian nationals have since returned to India.

This release, following diplomatic intervention by New Delhi, is viewed as a major diplomatic victory for India. The verdict was delivered shortly after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the COP28 Summit in Dubai.

Are Qatar and India friends?

India and Qatar share a robust and multifaceted bond, established in 1973, which has seen considerable growth over the years. This relationship encompasses various sectors, including political, economic, defense, and cultural ties.

High-level diplomatic visits have played a pivotal role in strengthening this bond. A notable instance is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Qatar in 2016. Trade and investment are vital components of this relationship, with bilateral trade reaching US$ 18.77 billion in 2022-23.

The two nations also have a Defense Cooperation Agreement and participate in joint maritime exercises. The Indian diaspora in Qatar, numbering over 800,000, forms the largest expatriate community in the country.

The recent release of detained Indian Navy veterans in Qatar highlights the strength of diplomatic ties between the two nations. This event is viewed as a significant diplomatic victory for India. Therefore, it’s fair to say that India and Qatar maintain a friendly and cooperative relationship, albeit one with its own complexities and challenges.

Additional Sources:

How Modi government pulled off safe release of 8 Navy veterans from Qatar

2023 Qatar espionage case

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