Has India abandoned its spy Kulbhushan Jadhav?

ISLAMABAD: Six years since its senior-most serving officer was captured in Pakistan on espionage charges, India looks to either have dumped Naval Officer Kulbhushan Jadhav or it has decided to let him die in solitary confinement in Pakistan.

Commander Jadhav, an Indian spy, and RAW operative was found facilitating numerous acts of terrorism in Pakistan, which resulted in the killings of countless innocent citizens of Pakistan.

Sources privy to the details of the diplomatic communication between India and Pakistan say that New Delhi has also decided not to avail the legal remedies provided by Pakistan for its spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in Balochistan six years back on charges of carrying out subversive activities on Pakistani soil.

“It seems the Indian intelligence has lost hopes in Jadhav’s case. Perhaps, the confessional statements by Jadhav and the huge evidence found along with the naval officer has made Indians convinced not to pursue his case,” an official privy to the details told this scribe.

Asked to elabourate, the official said that India’s continuous refusal to file a review petition in line with the directive of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) speaks volumes about its denial of the ground reality, when the serving navy commander was caught red-handed on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan.

It merits mention here that in the case of Commander Jadhav, Pakistan’s parliament had adopted legislation namely ICJ’s Review and Re-consideration Act, 2020 that provided for the right of review and reconsideration in giving effect to the judgment of the ICJ.

The passage of the Bill, according to the Foreign Office, reaffirmed that “Pakistan continues to take its obligation with regard to the ICJ judgment very seriously”.

“As Pakistan repeatedly reminded India of its obligation to arrange legal representation of Commander Jadhav under paragraph 118 of the ICJ judgment, the response from the Indian side is a clear manifestation that India is shying away from the solid proof of its sabotage activities against Pakistan,” the official said.

Who is Jadhav?

Kulbhushan Jadhav, alias Hussain Mubarek Patel, was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Mashkel, Balochistan while traveling to Pakistan on an Iranian passport. A serving Indian Navy officer, Jadhav was involved in spying, acts of terrorism, and sabotage against the state of Pakistan on behalf of the Indian government.

Born in the city of Sangli in the Indian state of Maharashtra on April 15, 1969, he joined the Indian National Defence Academy in 1987 and was commissioned in the engineering branch of the Indian Navy in 1991.

Kulbhushan Jadhav was picked up by the Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) at the end of 2013, which had been carrying out various subversive activities in Karachi and Balochistan.

RAW gave Jadhav a pseudo name as Hossein Mubarak Patel to conceal his real identity and his job was to hold meetings with Baloch insurgents and collaborate with them to carry out activities of a criminal nature.

During interrogation, Jadhav revealed that at Wadh, he was in contact with Haji Baloch, who provided financial and logistic support to Baloch separatists and the Islamic State network in Karachi.

The Indian spy also confessed that the masterminds of the Safoora bus attack, where gunmen shot dead 45 Ismaili passengers, were also in contact with Haji Baloch.

On Jadhav’s information, Pakistani security agencies arrested hundreds of undercover operatives working to sabotage peace in Pakistan.

Kulbhushan Jadhav was found guilty of heinous crimes against the state of Pakistan. On April 10, 2017, he was sentenced to death by the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) on April 10, 2017.

In July 2019, after a petition lodged by India, the International Court of Justice ordered Pakistan to allow Jadhav full and unimpeded consular access to Indian officials, however rejected an Indian plea for the dismissal of his conviction.

After six years of his arrest, Kulbhushan Jadhav remains a living proof of Indian aggression and state-sponsored terrorism against Pakistan.

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]

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