The honeytrap and the (gullible) Indian Air Force

Published: January 10, 2016
SHARES
Email

Do army officers in Pakistan receive friend requests from attractive women who are curious about the number of Hunters in a particular air force base?

I recently heard about the honeytrap that was used to extract sensitive Intel from members of the Indian military. When I was finally able to stop laughing, I began to wonder why this hadn’t been bigger news on this side of the border because all Google searches on the subject result in Indian sources.

This one is my personal favourite.

Apparently this phenomenon is fairly common. The search brings up a number of different cases along with official warnings and guidelines from Indian government agencies. It looks as though there is an entire department of female operatives for the sole purpose of entrapping vulnerable (Gullible? Desperate?) soldiers and military personnel. It seems as though espionage has hit an entirely new low since its heyday during the Cold War. The idea of spies who don’t even need to leave their desks sounds mind-numbingly boring. What would they even call themselves? The ‘Inter Services Fraandshippers’?

Notice how easy it is though.

Surely people have the good sense to not go around giving away runway lengths and hanger locations? Who in their right minds would believe that magazines actually publish things like this? I had no idea that the location of army bases was printed right alongside fashion advice, agony aunt columns and articles about celebrity tantrums.

Do army officers in Pakistan receive friend requests from attractive women who are curious about the number of Hunters in a particular air force base? Or are they required to, perhaps, sit through some sort of class titled “How not to divulge military secrets to strangers online” as part of their training?

Perhaps flirting is done differently across the border.

“Hellu, naice pic janni, I am top government scientist”

“Thenks. Sho shweet! Email me the secret plans for that new drone your country is working on and I’ll give you my Whatsapp number”

Has this ever happened to you?

But really, life is hard. Who doesn’t wish for that life-changing online romance? Who doesn’t want to meet their soul-mate? Fate often lurks in (figurative) dark alleys waiting to tackle you without warning. So, how is one to weed out the lovers from the fighters?

Why not try the following?

The mirror test

Look in your nearest mirror. How do you look compared to the person who’s sent you the request? If you’re uglier than proceed with caution. They are either a spy, spam or trying to sell you something.

The test of residence

So you live in Kerala and you have a friend request from New York? How is that not suspicious? Even that one cousin who now buses tables in San Jose has un-friended you. This could only be bad news.

The status test

If you study at Iqra University then you’re not going to be getting friend requests from people studying at LUMS. If your cover photo is multiple frames of that one selfie you took with your neighbour’s fake RayBans then the girl with the foreign street view cover is probably only interested in the location of your nearest cantonment.

Don’t accept friend requests from strangers

Just don’t do it. No one is interested in you. You should probably just snap up that one rishta your mother keeps hinting at and count yourself lucky.

I realise that these suggestions will probably offend a lot of people, but they are things that everyone needs to hear. That Ryan Gosling look-alike has just come back home for the summer from Princeton. He drives a Mercedes. He has sent me a friend request. He probably wants me to hook him up with that one pretty girl on my friend list who changes her profile picture every day and only wears clothes that cost over 3K. I will act like a sensible person, ignore him and drown my sorrows in ice cream and an entire season of Downton Abbey.

It is, after all, a matter of national security.

Sakina Hassan

Sakina Hassan

The author is currently studying for an Mphil degree at the Centre of Excellence in Solid State Physics.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Nomad1412

    “So you live in Kerala and you have a friend request from New York?”

    This quasi-humorous attempt to downplay a serious incident is undone by the above statement among others.

    The author probably doesn’t know that those from Kerala represent one of the most widely dispersed diasporas anywhere in the world. As such it wouldn’t be impossible for an ordinary Malayalee in Kerala to receive a friend request from New York or Africa or the Middle East.Recommend

  • sane citizen

    Any sane Citizen of a country who have lost thousands of defence personnels including attacks on military installations like Mehran,Peshawar and GHQ can Ill afford to laugh on issues like honey trap or religious trap being employed by ISIS.only thing is we in India don’t brush our seemingly weaknesses under the carpet unlike Pak ,where the boys are inviolable and beyond scrutiny.Recommend

  • M

    This is blog FUNNY ! Kudos to you. Keep it going.Recommend

  • Minerva

    It is heartening to see that the author pursuing degree in Physics has written such a deep article about “fraaandships” that also for the benefit of Indians. If she could give her thoughts on less important subjects like “how to become next Tashfeen Malik”?Recommend

  • Bibloo

    Absolutely. Wide diaspora, like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Thailand,
    Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar,….anywhere they can escape from India.
    Oh! forgot Fiji and the African countries.Recommend

  • Shehryar Hassan

    “we in India don’t brush our seemingly weaknesses under the carpet unlike Pak “………………I see………that’s how india captured the strategic pigeon of ISI!!!……..lolzzzzRecommend

  • Ali Rizvi

    This is hilarious. Cant believe something like this can happen to a military guy who is assigned to keep country’s most confidential information.Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    HAHA hilarious blog. Loved it.
    @ Minerva: Maybe you can teach us how to be the next Maya kodnani?
    @nomad1412:disqus : Just like you Indians have no idea about us and keep spewing venom against us here.
    @sanecitizen: You can start by prosecuting your army officers for all the rapes they committed in Kashmir.Recommend

  • Muckmaker

    Kinda feel bad for the arrested IAF guy.Sirf pyaar hi tau dhoond rha tha!!

    All joking aside,its ludicrous that even in this day and age,someone would fall for such a trap.Recommend

  • maynotmatter

    See…I have been telling. With such a gullible armed force, how can India do any terrorism in Pakistan ? Hence proved by proof of incapability and lack of intelligence and integrity that we Indians do not have anything to do what is happening in Balochistan or any part of Pakistan.
    You guys give unnecessary credit to us Indian for such act. Take this news and rejoice that we are weaker than you and totally open to get attacked. Enjoy!Recommend

  • Saira Khan

    It was just beautiful to read the *insert euphemism for back hurt* indian’s comments. Reality bites my dear neighbors!Recommend

  • Linux Novice

    Grow up girl.Recommend

  • Hasssan

    First of all it is ISI not ISIS, secondly quote me a single blog or news where u r openly discussing the issues in ur defense forces, let it be higher suicide rate, incompetency, and one that has been highlighted above the ”honey trap” lol attacks being under attack is a part of the defense, even 9/11 and 26/11 and recently pathankot, mumbai blasts, so no one is immune…now we in Pakistan had a famous joke gone viral on social media…it was like call safe ali khan and katrina to save indian airbase…ur commandos couldn’t get over the terrorists after 3 days of fighting… and we are fighting on several other front meanwhile if somethenting happens like this we get it free in no time…Recommend

  • Parvez

    I loved that……needed a good laugh.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    But unlike most Pakistanis abroad, none seek asylum and live on benefits.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    But unlike most Pakistanis abroad, none seek asylum and live on benefits.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Honey traps have been used to gather information for centuries, One of the most famous women during world war I, Mata Hari was executed for the same.

    Recommend

  • Ali

    “If you study at Iqra University then you’re not going to be getting friend requests from people studying at LUMS.” i wish people stop undermining universities , just because those students go there who either couldn’t afford to pay alot of money or don’t have a proper exposure. I know its all in humor for now , but i have been around people who take it very seriously. I think its high time we realize that your university cannot define your level of intellect or your standing in the society.Recommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    “only thing is we in India don’t brush our seemingly weaknesses under the carpet unlike Pak” lols, Indians and their delusive self perceptions.Recommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    Oh really? when was the last time you left the first corner of your street?Recommend

  • Bibloo

    We are not talking about Mata Hari. This blog is about an airman
    in the Indian Air Force. Who was duped. Long distance.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Minerva, it’s very simple. If Indian Air Force personnel can
    be duped so easily. Next time ISI will ask them to bring their
    shiny new fighter jets to Lahore airport. They will be given a
    a free tank of gas and will get their jets hand washed too.
    Hey, Paks will throw in a free oil change ! No problem. Just
    fly over, don’t forget to bring the operating manuals.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    Yeah slaughter of 165 innocent children was not a myth or perception rather a reality..Only pakis have ability and big heart to ignore that and then laugh on virtually similar kind of situationRecommend

  • hp kumar

    why should we trust anything coming from pakistan when you guys r hell bent on killing us indians specially hindus?Recommend

  • hp kumar

    did you read warning message from australian embassy for asylum sicker in your newspaper?Recommend

  • hp kumar

    still your 90,000 strong army surrendered?Recommend

  • Gratgy

    We are talking about Honeytraps which obviously the author had never of heard about before last weekRecommend

  • Gratgy

    To see you queuing up for dole??Recommend

  • Saher

    FYI: The employees of all three defense forces of Pakistan are not allowed to use social media. If some of them are still using it, they are doing it under false aliases and this cheating should be condemned.Recommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    lols, is that all you had as an answer? wake up and go out of your cave, you will see plenty of them living on benefits, as much as the Pakitanis and other South Asians, which you think are far inferior to the super human beings you are exporting after receiving heavy requests from better economies.Recommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    No Sir, I did’nt come across any warning message for asylum “Sickers”Recommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    do you know there is something called basic comprehension skills while you read something, so go , read and work on it, before jumping into debates with no clue of what you are saying. I was pointing to a totally different thing. Regarding children, we have taken care of thatRecommend

  • hp kumar

    sorry for typo …But you must go through your newspaper once again…let me inform you Its all over the page..Recommend

  • hp kumar

    I thought you will understand what I meant to say..Now let me tell u straight and pl allow my words to penetrate right corner of your head so that you will remember it for long..you people r weak in every aspects say psychologically,physically ,economically etc etc.. your army could not protect 5yrs old kid who went to study in a posh school.pakistan is glaring example of a failed state..we have seen headless body of pak army personnel thrown away by terrorists.your army couldnot not and will never be able to eliminate terrorist element from pakistan.And here i m telling you,just replace them with indian army and see how these assets r running for life.our army took 4 days so that they could capture at least one of them..but that didnot happen..in fact terrorists were with enough arms and ammunition..mass slaughter in Peshawar happened.we thought you people would be more sensitive to terrorist attack happening anywhere in the world..but that is not the case.. question remains that why you people in pakistan have more affection towards terrorists than ordinary citizen of india?Recommend

  • hp kumar

    Its a devil’s smile ,Gratgy..we Indians must not ignore it.. I m really feeling sorry for these delusional people..At the same time we must be thankful to ET for exposing psyche of pakistani citizens on pathankot attack …Recommend

  • Tommy Gunn

    Is that why you have lost 50,000 citizens to terrorism as almost every pakistani constantly reminds the world of? Do you guys also joke about the US raid in 2011 which swooped your most precious asset Mr. Bin Laden right from under your nose? The rest of the world does!
    As for why it took 3 days to secure the air base, it was because the soldiers had orders to minimize casualties & try to capture at least one terrorist alive.Recommend

  • Tommy Gunn

    ‘The honey trap’ is one of the oldest used methods of espionage in human history. The author is showing ignorance by laughing off this serious matter. Maybe Pakistanis have become so used to terrorism now that they find it funny & amusing. Well, FYI the civilized world takes it very seriously.Recommend

  • Tommy Gunn

    Well I admit the pigeon story is kind of funny. But this kind of paranoia exists on both sides. Many years ago, the ISI suspected that india was infiltrating its rat population across the border to Pakistan to spread disease. Of course that was nonsense too but gives an idea of mistrust on both sides.Recommend

  • Tommy Gunn

    They go because they get a visa & are welcome everywhere which is not something that Pakistanis can say.Recommend

  • Bibloo

    But, but, but, but, …it’s hard…for a hindu to
    understand this. When an army, any army,
    is surrounded by nearly one million Indian
    soldiers and their 3000,000 surrogates, the
    Mukhti Bahini, and is also out of ammunition,
    no fighter jets or bombers, then there is only
    one option. Do not let your brave soldiers face
    a bloodbath by the hindus. Save their lives.
    Surrender peacefully. And live to fight another
    day. It is the one and only pseudo half victory
    in the hindu annals. There are no others.
    Hindus proudly tell their children, about this fake,
    invented episode, about how they defeated the
    Muslims, at Dacca. After 1200 years under Muslim
    subjugation.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Economic migrants are different than asylum seekers. We work, you begRecommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    oh really..? thanks for telling me all this. Good that I know a few wonderful Indians otherwise you had ruined it all :p

    p.s. Your rant still doesnt belong here, that’s all I wanted you to know.Recommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    and thats what? if you may spare your so precious time to inform your so “good for nothing” neighbor !Recommend

  • Shehryar Hassan

    sometimes wind flows from west to east……………..better stop breathing Recommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    ok , say thanks to ET, they censored my love letter to you.. @ET censor: are you for real ? :oRecommend

  • hp kumar

    I dont want you to believe Indians as good human being..State of dilemma can be disastrous for you and for us as well..Now i see you r toned down ..Recommend

  • LS

    Yeah like Snakes that come to Pakistan from India are thought to be trained by Indian Army or Heat wave in Karachi is a result of designs of Indian Army? So much for Pakistani intelligenceRecommend

  • LS

    It specifically says “Don’t come to Australia”
    http://www.dawn.com/news/1137077

    while EU is waiting to deport 80,000 illegal Paki’s which Pakistan ofcourse is refusing to accept,

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-eu-idUSKCN0T70S220151118

    Sri-Lanka deported 50 Pakistanis.
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/11/sril-j11.html

    Norway deported more…
    http://www.dawn.com/news/1222599Recommend

  • LS

    You can also start by procecuting all the rapes your officers do everyday in Baluchistan, Azad kashmir, and KP? Which is far more in numbers than what has happened on Indian soil…Recommend

  • LS

    So an M.Phil in solid state Physics has never heard of HoneyTrap and wrote this article about her ignorance? Nice.Recommend

  • Bibloo

    So Shiv Sena made these web sites? Or BJP? Or RSS?
    Or Bajrang Dal? Anything from Hindustani commentators carries no weight. Nothing. Zero. Suspect.Recommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    lols, so you were just struglling to tone me down? lols, you could have done that with a smile smarty pants :)Recommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    Illegal migrations from Afghanistan are far more than India and Pakistan together, and if you think that there is no illegal immigration from India, or you are further disillusioned that India illegal immigrants are welcomed with open arms, then you need to go out and see :)Recommend

  • LS

    What? These are reported on Dawn and Reuters and other international sites. Lack of comprehension was expected.Recommend

  • LS

    We are talking about Pakistan. Esp countries that are deporting them. You digress. Yes Indians for the most part are welcomed with open arms. They are not standing in queue for further questioning at immigration.Recommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    oh really? why dont you give it a shot and see for yourself how many of them still have wrinkles on their noses when they see you shaking heads like pendulum and grinning at them for a visa…super disillusioned you are, I must say.Recommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    lols, I got scared of you :pRecommend

  • hp kumar

    must be planning to blow yourselfRecommend

  • Tommy Gunn

    Do u guys have jokes circulating about bacha khan university attack as well? Hope u realize that Terrorism is not a laughing matter whether its in Pathankot or Chadrasa.Recommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    If that gives you nightmares :pRecommend

  • Asy ma wail !

    if thats what gives you nightmares :pRecommend