The Pakistani military establishment on Tuesday reaffirmed its allegations that a serving Indian naval officer was detained for espionage, showing the man’s video confession about his intention to foment terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi.
India repeatedly denied both charges, saying the country has no interest and never interfered in either of these two places.
Pakistani military spokesman Lt General Asim Bajwa and information minister Pervez Rashid began a media briefing on Tuesday with a six-minute video of the “Indian spy”, who has allegedly converted to Islam.
The footage shows the man, identified by Pakistan as Kulbhushan Yadav, making a series of comments that match Islamabad’s allegations about India fuelling a separatist movement in Balochistan, its largest but least developed province, and inciting violence in financial capital Karachi.
The video features multiple quick edits and the audio appears to go out of sync from time to time.
HT could not independently verify the video or the circumstances in which Yadav is seen making the statements.
The man says he began working as an intelligence recruit after the attack on 2001 Parliament in New Delhi in which nine people were killed. He apparently set up a small business in Iran that provided him cover for frequent trips to Pakistan before becoming an agent for Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) — India’s external intelligence agency — in 2013.
He says he was caught trying to cross into Pakistan from Iran on March 3.
“Kulbhushan Yadav is a serving Indian naval officer whose primary mission was to foment terrorism in Karachi and Balochistan,” Lt General Bajwa said. “He converted to Islam and worked at Gadani under the cover of a scrap dealer.”
He alleged that Yadav was working for the Indian spy agency and “there is an active RAW network in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan”.
The Express Tribune newspaper quoted Bajwa as saying that Pakistan and Balochistan’s maps were recovered from Yadav. “He used to establish a network of operatives, provide funds, arrange and smuggle people for terrorism in the country,” he said.
Pakistan last week summoned Indian high commissioner Gautam Bambawale to lodge its protest over “subversive activities” of the alleged R&AW officer.
Indian government sources dismissed the ISI’s claim, terming it as a diversionary tactic to deflect attention from Pakistan’s own accountability on terror acts in India.
On record, however, there was no reaction. “The external affairs ministry has already made India’s position very clear on the matter. That is: the said individual has no link with Government since his premature retirement from Indian Navy. 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”, an official said.
India had sought consular access to Yadav, but Pakistan is yet to grant it.