By Sajjad Shaukat
Showing optimistic approach, on humanitarian ground, Pakistan allowed mother and wife of Indian convicted spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet him.
The mother and wife of the spy Kulbhushan Jadhav visited Pakistan on 25, this year and met him at the office of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad amid strict security.
Chetankul Jadhav, the wife of the Indian spy, was given an alternate pair of shoes to wear after her shoes were removed.
In this regard, Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal said that Chetankul’s shoes were taken over after authorities felt there was something fixed in them. The shoes of Jadhav’s wife were kept for inspection, while all other belongings, including jewelry, were returned. Authorities were ascertaining whether the metallic object in the shoes was a camera or a recording chip.
However, a suspicious metal chip was detected in Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife shoes.
The FO also added that India has levelled allegations after 24 hours of the visit and Pakistan does not want to get involved in a war of words.
As a matter of fact, as part of the usual practice, Indian some high officials and media in connivance the mother and wife of the convicted spy Jadhav started a propaganda campaign against Pakistan regarding the meeting.
In this respect, The Times of India reported, “Angered by the treatment meted out to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife in Pakistan, a relative of the former Indian Navy officer said that the family was even more depressed than it had been before the visit…the relative told PTI…The treatment received by Kulbhushan’s mother and wife from Pakistan was not good at all…We are even more depressed now than we were before the visit.”
In fact, after returning from Pakistan, the wife and mother of the convicted spy met with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
According to reports in the Indian media, the meeting was held at Swaraj’s residence following which Jadhav’s mother and wife were taken to the Ministry of External Affairs for a debriefing. Hence, mother and wife of Jadhav have been compelled by the Indian officials to show maltreatment with them in relation to the meeting.
On the other side, Pakistan’s FO Spokesperson stated that the meeting lasted almost 40 minutes. Indian diplomats, including Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh, accompanied Jadhav’s family and were present during the meeting, which was conducted in a specially prepared room. Foreign Office Director India desk Dr Fareha was also present during the meeting.
Jadhav’s mother had also thanked the Pakistan Foreign Office for allowing the meeting.
The roads leading from and to the FO building were closed to traffic for the meeting. Walkthrough gates were also installed outside the FO building amid strict security measures.
It is mentionable that Kalbushan Jadhav, alias Hussain Mubarak Patel, serving Commander of Indian Navy, working with Indian intelligence agency RAW was apprehended on March 3, 2016 after he illegally crossed over into Pakistan from the Pakistan-Iran border. He was found in possession of an Indian passport issued by Government of India on May 12, 2015 and valid until May 11, 2024.
He confessed that he is a resident of Mumbai, India, still serving in Navy and his retirement is due in 2022. The videos of his confession are widely circulated in the media. He is responsible for espionage, sabotage and terrorism in Pakistan and has been tried according to the law of the land, in a fully transparent manner by the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under section 59 of Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section 3 of Official Secret Act of 1923.
He confessed before a Magistrate and the Court that he was tasked by the Indian intelligence agency, RAW, to plan, coordinate and organize espionage and sabotage activities aimed at destabilizing and waging war against Pakistan.
Commander Jadhav was involved in both espionage and terrorist/sabotage activities resulting in the loss of many lives and damage to property. Details of his terrorists activities included: Directed attacks on the Radar station and civilian boats in the sea, opposite Jiwani Port—Funded subversive secessionist and terrorist elements through Hawala/Hundi for subverting the Pakistani youth against the country, especially in Balochistan—Sponsored explosions of gas pipelines/ electric pylons in Sibi/Sui area in Balochistan—Sponsored IED explosions in Quetta in 2015, causing massive damage to life and property—Sponsored attack on Hazaras in Quetta and Shia Zaireen enroute to and back from Iran—Abetted attacks through anti-state elements against LEAs/FC and FWO in areas of Turbat, Punjgur, Gwadar, Pasni and Jiwani during 2014-2015, killing and injuring many civilians and soldiers and launched a website with subversive content in support of anti-Pakistan elements.
On April 10, this year, a Field General Court Martial—under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, and Official Secrets Act, 1923—awarded death sentence to Jadhav for espionage and sabotage.
Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa ratified the sentencing by the army tribunal. Jadhav has since been on the death row.
Pakistan has repeatedly requested India for assistance in the investigation process however; no such request has been accepted. Subsequently, India took the case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which after the oral hearing ruled on 18 May 2017 to grant provisional measures halting the execution of Commander Kulbushan pending a final judgment of the court.
Pakistan respects the sanctity of the international institutions and its obligations under the International law. It was in this spirit that Pakistan attended the proceeding of the ICJ at a short notice. As per the directives of the ICJ, New Delhi was required to submit its Memorial in the Court on September 13, 2017, while Pakistan to submit its Counter Memorial on December 13, 2017.
Islamabad remains committed to the peaceful resolution of all disputes. Protection of Pakistan’s national security and interest remains country’s paramount duty, for which it will use all legitimate means.
It is notable that in 2012, as part of the exchange of prisoners, Pakistani government released Indian spy, Surjeet Singh who was handed over to the Indian authorities at the Wagah border crossing. He openly admitted that he was in Pakistan to spy when he was arrested in 1982. In this regard, Surjeet Singh said, “I was a RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) agent. No one bothered about me after I got arrested.” Surjeet told reporters soon after stepping on Indian soil.
Quite opposite to the admission of Surjeet, on June 29, 2012, the then Indian Home Secretary RK Singh told a news conference in New Delhi, saying, “We do not accept this that Singh was Indian spy…it is completely wrong.” However, it shows Indian illogical approach as New Delhi denies facts in order to conceal the presence of other Indian spies in Pakistan.
On the other hand, while reaching India, Surjeet Singh again admitted before Indian reporters that he sent to Pakistan by Indian RAW for espionage purposes.
While, Pakistan’s former President Asif Ali Zardari commuted death sentence of another Indian spy of RAW, Sarabjit Singh into life imprisonment on June 26, 2012.
Surjeet Singh revealed, “Sarabjit Singh is a terrorist and terrorists are neither released.” On the other side, Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna who had welcomed Surjeet Singh’s release, stated on June 25, 2012, “It was now “time for Sarabjit Singh to be freed.” Like Indian home secretary, even external affairs minister was defending the Indian agents. It shows that Indian high officials are deliberately and officially supporting RAW agents to destabilize Pakistan.
Besides, Indian spy Surjeet Singh had also pointed out, “All Indian prisoners are treated well in Pakistani jails. Sarabjit Singh is also doing well there…I was treated well by prison officials and I am thankful to them.”
While, India has arrested hundreds of Pakistan’s citizens, often accusing them of being spies after they have strayed across the land or maritime border due to unconscious mistake. It also includes some tourists who went to India. Quite contrary to the well-treatment of Indian spies in Pakistani jails, RAW and other security agencies employ various techniques of torture on the so-called Pakistan’s suspected persons. Most of the Pakistani nationals have also been killed in Indian jails, while a majority of them have been killed by Indian security agencies in fake encounters.
It is of particular attention that on July 26, 2017, a Division Bench of the Supreme Court of India directed the counsels of the Union of India to provide status report on the prisoners mostly from Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, who have been suffering in different Indian jails for more than a decade without trial. The Union of India in its rejoinder in writ petition no.310/2005 filed by Prof. Bhim Singh, senior advocate against the illegal, improper and unconstitutional detention of nearly 254 Pakistani prisoners and those of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, languishing in Indian jails for over a decade, admitted that several foreign prisoners—mostly from Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir had been released and there were 254 such prisoners.
Prof. Bhim Singh regretted that India has not considered that direction of the Supreme Court of India regarding the trial and deportation of the Pakistani prisoners who had completed their respective sentences in the respective prisons.
Earlier, Indian apex court has also asked the details of Pakistani prisoners who illegally crossed the border, the crime record of the prisoners, information about actual number of prisoners under trial, total number of prisoners who are not under judicial custody and about the number of Pakistani prisoners who have already completed their punishment. The court has also raised questions about the identification process of prisoners as well as the management process pertaining to these prisoners’ repatriation to Pakistan.
Notably, over more than 50 Pakistani prisoners have completed their sentence in Indian jails and are still struck up in India, as in the pretext of confirmation their nationality status, Indian authorities did not release them.
It is noteworthy that in 2008, Pakistan and India had signed an agreement to grant consular access to prisoners in each other’s jails in order to reduce the anguish of the prisoners.
Nevertheless, both Surjeet Singh and Sarabjit Singh were responsible for the string of blasts in Faisalabad, Lahore, and Multan in 1990 in which several innocent people were killed. They were also behind other terror-activities in Pakistan.
It is also of particular attention that on June 28, 2012, BBC reported, “in recent years, several Indians returning from Pakistani jails have admitted to spying for Indian intelligence agency RAW” and “some have criticised India’s government for abandoning them.”
It is worth-mentioning that in April 2011, Gopal Das, one of Pakistan’s longest-serving Indian prisoners, was released after Pakistan’s ex-President Asif Ali Zardari intervened in his case.
Upon his release, Das admitted he was an Indian spy. Similarly, Kashmir Singh, sentenced to death in Pakistan in 1973 for spying, was released in March 2008. Afterwards, he also admitted that he was spying for RAW.
In this connection, admission of the Indian spies indicates that RAW has a well-organised spy-network in Pakistan. Besides supporting separatist elements in the Balochistan province, directly or indirectly, RAW agents conducted many terrorism-related attacks in Pakistan such as target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks and assaults on civil and military installations, including forced abductions and sectarian violence.