The meeting between the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan on Tuesday had two sides exchanging strong views over arrest of an alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.
Indian sources said Pakistan side seem pre-determined to harp on the issue to address ‘its domestic audience.’ Visiting foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry spoke of the ‘arrest’ and ‘capture’ of RAW (India’s external intelligence agency) ‘officer’ Jadhav. And he talked about the ‘subversive activities’ of the RAW in Balochistan and Karachi and spoke at length ‘from Jadhav’s confessions’ to back his claims.
At this point, Indian side said he was said in “your custody” and surrounded by “all your men”, arguing it was a confession extracted under duress. Foreign secretary Jaishnakar said such confessions cannot be taken at face value, and said Jadhav, a former naval officer was abducted and taken to Pakistan.
“Pakistan was using the words like arrest, capture, but we made it clear he was abducted and taken to custody”, said Indian sources.
Foreign secretary said Pakistan should immediately give consular access to Jadhav. But Pakistani side was of the opinion that investigations on the ‘leads provided by’ Jadhav are still on. When Pakistan side pointed out acts of ‘subversive nature’ undercuts the efforts to normalize the ties, foreign secretary was came up with a strong rebuttal. In this context Indian foreign secretary asked “which spy agency would put their agent in the field with their own passports and without a visa.”
“We pressed for immediate consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, former naval officer abducted and taken to Pakistan”, external affairs ministry said in a statement after the talks.
Indian sources said Pakistan is determined to harp on the spying case, which they see as part of the deliberate strategy to counter ‘genuine’ Indian concerns over terrorism emanating from Pakistani soil.