Pakistan on Friday protested against the “illegal entry” and “subversive activities” of a purported RAW officer arrested in Balochistan province but India said the detained man has no link with the government.
The external affairs ministry spokesperson acknowledged the man was a former Indian Navy personnel but dismissed allegations of espionage, saying India believes a stable Pakistan is in the interest of the region.
Indian high commissioner Gautam Bambawale was “summoned by the Foreign Secretary today (March 25, 2016) and through a demarche conveyed our protest and deep concern on the illegal entry into Pakistan by a RAW officer and his involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi”, said a statement from the Foreign Office.
The statement did not give any other details.
The protest was lodged a day after Pakistani officials claimed security agencies had arrested the RAW “agent”.
Balochistan’s home minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti on Thursday identified the arrested man as Kulbhushan Yadav. Bugti claimed he was an officer of the rank of commander in the Indian Navy and was working for India’s external intelligence agency.
Bugti further claimed Bhushan had been in contact with Baloch separatists and terrorists fuelling sectarian violence in Balochistan. Yadav was detained three days ago on a tip-off from a Pakistani intelligence agency and later shifted to Islamabad for questioning, he added.
The minister did not give any other details, including the location where the man was arrested. Reports suggested Bhushan was detained in Chaman, an area of Balochistan located close to the border with Afghanistan.
In New Delhi, the external affairs ministry spokesperson said the detained “individual has no link with (the) government since his premature retirement from Indian Navy”. Indian authorities have sought consular access to him.
“India has no interest in interfering in internal matters of any country and firmly believes that a stable and peaceful Pakistan is in the interest of all in the region,” the spokesperson said.
Pakistani media reports said Yadav had an Iranian residency permit and that he purportedly had a passport in the name of Hussain Mubarak Patel. The place of birth given in this passport is Sangli, Maharashtra.
Sources in New Delhi said the photo of the man featured in the Pakistani media appeared to be that of former Indian Navy personnel Kulbhushan Jadhav, whose family lives at Powai in Mumbai.
Pakistan has repeatedly accused India of fomenting unrest in Balochistan, the country’s largest province, but it has never offered any evidence to back up its claims. Such allegations have always been dismissed by New Delhi.