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Arrest of Indian ‘Spy’ in Balochistan Exposes Pak Desperation

The arrest of an Indian ‘spy’ by Pakistani authorities is another example of their perfidy, writes Amar Bhushan.

Published
Opinion
4 min read
Pakistan’s shoddy homework will soon get exposed as they agree to give the Indian high commission  consular access to alleged ‘spy’ Kulbhushan Jadhav.  (Photo: The Quint)

The triumphal claim of the Pakistani government on March 23 that it has netted a RAW agent is comical. Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti identified the agent as Kulbhushan Jadhav, a retired Indian naval officer who allegedly entered Pakistan as Hussein Mubarak Patel.

Jadhav was into ferrying cargo from Chabahar port in Iran and would probably have strayed in Pak waters. He could have also been abducted once his Indian connection was established. The rest was a familiar script, crudely written and liberally peppered with Jadhav’s ‘confessions’.

At worst, Jadhav would have procured a Muslim passport to easily obtain a visa and work permit from Iranians. With a naval background, he may have innocuously made inquiries about the situation in Pakistan. But that he was a RAW agent on a mission is rubbish. He is already being described as the kingpin of RAW’s subversive network in Balochistan and an orchestrator of terror modules in Karachi.

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A TV grab of Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been arrested in Pakistan  for his alleged links with India’s external  espionage agency RAW. (Photo: PTI)
A TV grab of Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been arrested in Pakistan for his alleged links with India’s external espionage agency RAW. (Photo: PTI)

Bunkum Spy Story

The sequence of events leading to his capture and the haste with which the Indian high commissioner was summoned by the Pakistan foreign office to hand over a letter of protest over the incident, actually betrays Islamabad’s maturity in framing an Indian. Their shoddy homework will soon get exposed as they agree to give the Indian high commission consular access to Jadhav or allow Indian investigators to interrogate him along with their Pakistani counterparts. That Islamabad would concede for either is highly unlikely.

The Pak media and its officials insist that Jadhav confessed to having joined RAW in 2013, training Baloch separatists, purchasing boats to plan terrorist attacks against Pakistani ports, grooming volunteers to instigate violence in Karachi and meeting the R&AW chief on several occasions. More astounding details of his involvement should follow unless lies become burdensome.

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Snapshot

Caught on the Wrong Foot?

  • Pakistan’s shoddy homework on spy arrest will soon get exposed as they agree to give the Indian High commission the consular access.
  • RAW chiefs never meet field operatives or send its officers directly or individually to operate in hostile areas.
  • Sending a retired naval officer on a terrorist mission to Balochistan in an extremely unfriendly environment is simply ridiculous.
  • Pakistan should instead, introspect why they have failed to integrate Balochs into the mainstream.
  • Indian Foreign office has rightly owned up Kulbhushan as an Indian citizen in a bid to swiftly bury the Pakistani mischief.

Busting Myths

A few points need to be clarified here. RAW chiefs never meet field operatives, never send its officers directly or individually to operate in hostile areas and never issue identity cards or any document that may link the agents with the agency. These are some of the very basic precautions. Islamabad obviously imagines that RAW consists of buffoons and blundering officers. The Indian social media is also outraged that why the ISI can get hold of a naval commander, whereas RAW can’t even capture a captain.

We must understand that unlike Pakistan, India does not have the luxury of a vast number of people who are eager to spy against their country. No Pakistani Hindu or Christian will ever dare to work for India. RAW, as a matter of policy, never risks its ordinary people by recruiting them as subversive agents. Pakistani Muslims are never targeted for one is never sure of their links with the army, ISI or terrorist groups in a country where their writ runs large. In such a situation, sending a retired navy officer on a solo terrorist mission to Balochistan in an extremely unfriendly environment is simply ridiculous.
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A TV grab of Kulbhushan Jadhav who Pakistan has arrested for his alleged links with India’s foreign espionage agency the Research and Analysis Wing. (Photo: PTI)
A TV grab of Kulbhushan Jadhav who Pakistan has arrested for his alleged links with India’s foreign espionage agency the Research and Analysis Wing. (Photo: PTI)

Mountain out of a Molehill?

Pakistan must learn to respect the operational ingenuity of RAW which has a history of bringing about major transformations in targeted countries. If RAW is ever authorised to destabilise Pakistan and break it into pieces, it won’t need the services of a retired Indian navy officer, a transborder smuggler, mentally unstable individuals who just walk across the border or poor fishermen who stray into Pakistani sea waters.

It has far more effective means, deeply camouflaged and widely spread out to achieve such an end. RAW is constrained not by any lack of resources, shortage of brilliant operatives or effective agents. But unlike the ISI, it has a duty to follow the policy of its political leadership not to undertake terrorist or subversive operations anywhere in the world and under any circumstances. Let Islamabad not fool itself in believing that it is the Jadhavas who are keeping the Baloch separatist aspirations sizzling.

They should instead introspect why they have failed to integrate the Baloch into the Pakistani mainstream and combat terrorists who carry out almost daily attacks in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar. Islamabad is lucky to have a shacked RAW. It should cherish and not rue its luck.

The Indian foreign office rightly owned up Kulbhushan as an Indian citizen and sought consular access to swiftly bury the Pakistani mischief. Delhi cannot abandon its nationals, serving or doing business in any part of the world.

Let’s also not imagine that this incident is being highlighted to scuttle the peace talks, increased bonhomie between Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif and the visit of Pakistan’s joint investigating team. The Jadhav incident has actually been engineered by a few rogue operatives and mischievously blown out of proportion, misleading everyone in the Pakistani establishment.

(The writer is a former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat)

Also read:

Five-Year Tenure for RAW Chief: Brainchild of a Woolly Head

2015 a Security Breeze-Through, But Caution Light Is On For 2016

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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