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Pakistan denies Sartaj Aziz’s statement on Indian held on spying charges

world Updated: Dec 07, 2016 22:11 IST
HT Correspondent
Kulbhushan Jadhav

File photo of journalists watching a video showing Kulbhushan Jadhav, suspected of being an Indian spy, during a news conference in Islamabad on March 29, 2016. Pakistan protested to India after arresting Jadhav, sparking a diplomatic tiff between the neighbours. (AFP)

Pakistan’s foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday acknowledged there was no “conclusive evidence” against Kulbhushan Jadhav, arrested in Balochistan in March on charges of being an agent of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), according to media reports.

Speaking in the Senate or upper house of Parliament, Aziz said the “dossier on Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav contained mere statements”. Geo News quoted Aziz as saying, “It did not have any conclusive evidence.”

Read | Kulbhushan Jadhav’s Indian passport a sign that he isn’t a ‘spy’

Aziz, the advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on foreign affairs, was further quoted as saying, “What the dossier contained was not enough. Now it is up to the concerned authorities how long they take to give us more matter on the agent.”

He did not say which organisation or department had submitted the dossier against Jadhav, whose arrest was announced by the military in April.

Aziz, who was briefing the Senate on relations with India, said further evidence regarding Jadhav’s role in Pakistan needs to be gathered. He also said Pakistan had provided the UN a dossier regarding RAW’s alleged activities in Pakistan.

Hours after Aziz’s remarks were reported by the media in India and Pakistan, the Foreign Office in Islamabad said the statement attributed to him was “absolutely incorrect”. The Foreign Office spokesperson said Aziz had informed the Senate that investigations into Jadhav’s “network...are ongoing and the dossier shall be completed upon conclusion of the investigation”.

The spokesperson claimed there was “irrefutable proof” against Jadhav.

Read | Pakistan charges ‘RAW agent’ Kulbhushan Jadhav with sabotage, terrorism

The military had claimed that Jadhav was involved in subversive activities in Karachi and Balochistan at the behest of RAW since 2013. It further claimed he had confessed to playing a role in the deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi.

Though the Indian government acknowledged that Jadhav is a former Indian Navy officer, it dismissed all allegations of espionage.

Read | Pak turns down India’s request for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav: Reports