Iran’s envoy to Pakistan has criticised the country’s decision to leak the news of the arrest of an Indian national on charges of working for RAW during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Islamabad.
Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian arrested on charges of espionage, is a former navy officer who was engaged in business at Chahbahar in Iran. Reports have said Islamabad has asked Tehran to probe Jadhav’s connections in Iran.
Iranian ambassador Mehdi Honardoost said on Tuesday the news about Jadhav’s arrest was leaked to the media despite good contacts between the security institutions of Pakistan and Iran.
“It is for the first time that before being discussed between security authorities of the two countries, an issue was leaked to media. We have reservations over it which have been conveyed to our Pakistani brothers,” he said.
Honardoost said this was “unprecedented” since Iran is a “time-tested friend of Pakistan and the security and stability of Pakistan is that of Iran”. Some countries, he said, aren’t happy with the Pakistan-Iran friendship.
“It is for the first time in the history of Pakistan-Iran relations that after such an impressive high-level visit, during which all aspects of bilateral relations were adequately discussed, an issue was raised,” Honardoost told Geo News.
He was responding to a question about Jadhav’s arrest in Pakistan and his connections with Chahbahar port in Iran.
Iran faced a “backlash” after the successful visit of Rouhani, Honardoost said. “Our people, distinguished brothers, and public opinions are so concerned about this false news, one hundred percent false news, and fortunately all authorities in Pakistan emphasise about it that it’s false news and no one has the right to ignite this issue,” Honardoost said.
“False news exactly, as it says that Iranian side ignored and averted its eyes to the activities against Pakistan; it is one hundred percent false, we totally denied it...Iran would never allow its soil to be used against Pakistan,” he added.
On Wednesday, Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership expressed concern over the role of “hostile agencies” in creating instability in the country.
During a meeting of the National Security Committee of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the leaders reviewed steps being taken for national security and expressed satisfaction over counter-terrorism measures.
“The meeting also expressed concern over the apparent role of hostile agencies in Pakistan,” said a statement issued after the meeting.
The “hostile agencies” were not named but Pakistan uses such characterisation for India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS).