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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

2 Indians arrested in Pak, triggers fears may be implicated in terror cases

Officials fear that the arrested Indians may become the latest victims of a Pakistani tactic to implicate Indians in terror-related crimes on the global stage.

india Updated: Nov 19, 2019 08:44 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The Indian government informed Islamabad of the possibility of two Indian nationals having inadvertently crossed over into Pakistan months ago but received no response, an Indian official said on Monday.
The Indian government informed Islamabad of the possibility of two Indian nationals having inadvertently crossed over into Pakistan months ago but received no response, an Indian official said on Monday.(Representative Image)
         

The Indian government informed Islamabad of the possibility of two Indian nationals having inadvertently crossed over into Pakistan months ago but received no response, an Indian official said on Monday, after reports of the two men appeared in Pakistani media. Officials now fear that the arrested Indians may become the latest victims of a Pakistani tactic to implicate Indians in terror-related crimes on the global stage.

On May 23, the Indian high commission formally informed Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs that Visakhapatnam-resident Prasanth Vaindam may have crossed over into Pakistan and arrested by Pakistani Rangers, said the officials quoted above. The high commission requested consular access to Vaindam but received no reply from Pakistani authorities.

On November 13, the high commission again wrote to the Pakistani foreign ministry and asked for consular access to four people who were believed to be Indian nationals who may have crossed over into Pakistan. These included Ramdas, Bari Lal and Jassi Singh. In the case of Lal, Indian authorities were pursuing the case since December 2018.

But again, the high commission’s letter – known as a note verbale – elicited no response, said the official quoted above.

Another Indian Gobinda Patnaik Duggivalasa, who worked in a consulting firm in Kabul, was also evacuated by the Indian security agencies on November 17 from the Afghan capital as there were fears that Pakistani agencies may abduct him. According to Indian security agencies, there was a plan where Pakistanis would project Duggivalasa as a terrorist with the help of China before the 1267 UNSC committee. This is the third time that an Indian has been evacuated from Afghanistan to foil Pakistani machinations.

Last week, reports appeared in a section of the Pakistani media that Lal and Vaindam had been apprehended by authorities.

“Despite several requests, no response has been received from the Pakistani side so far… It is hoped that these innocent persons would not become victim of some malicious propagandistic exercise,” said a second Indian official.

The second official said since August 2019, Pakistan has held up release and repatriation of about five Indian nationals and hundreds of Indian fishermen, whose nationality has been verified and have completed their sentence. “One only hopes Pakistan would stop politicising humanitarian issues,” the official added.

The developments come roughly a month after Pakistani efforts to implicate a cook in terror-related crimes, and Indian officials fear that Vaindam and Lal may be its latest victims.

In October, Pakistan, with the help of its all-weather ally China, moved the UN Security Council under resolution 1267 (the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, or the 1267 Sanctions Committee as it is now known) seeking action against Indian national Ajoy Mistry who it describes as an Islamic State terrorist targeting Pakistan.

Mistry holds an Indian passport and worked for two years as a cook in Abu Dhabi. Earlier, between 2008 and 2011, he worked as a cook in US Army camp in Iraq. After being warned, he returned to India.

With several Pakistani citizens being designated as global terrorists including Dawood Ibrahim, Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, Islamabad wants to achieve some sort of parity with India by getting an Indian national designated as a global terrorist, the officials added.