Could have swapped Kulbhushan Jadhav for Peshawar attack terrorist: Pak
Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged involvement in espionage and subversive activities. India has dismissed the allegations leveled against Jadhav by Pakistan and said he was abducted from Iran.Updated: Sep 28, 2017 00:16 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Foreign minister Khawaja Asif has claimed Pakistan could have swapped Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav for a terrorist involved in a 2014 attack on an army school in Peshawar who he said was in the custody of Afghan authorities.
Asif made the remarks during a conversation with journalist Steve Coll at the Asia Society in New York on Tuesday.
“The TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) operates from Afghan soil…the terrorist who killed children in APS (Army Public School) in Peshawar is in Afghan custody,” he said
“The National Security Advisor (NSA) told me that we can exchange that terrorist with the terrorist you have, which is Kulbhushan Jadhav,” he added.
Asif, who made the remarks in the context of his allegations that India’s intelligence agencies were backing anti-Pakistan terrorists from Afghan soil, did not give more details. He also did not specify whether there was a specific offer to swap Jadhav for the terrorist.
He also did not specify whether he was referring to the NSA (national security adviser) of Pakistan or some other country.
Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged involvement in espionage and subversive activities. His execution was stayed after India took the matter to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
India has dismissed the allegations leveled against Jadhav by Pakistan and said he was abducted from Iran.
Asif sought to deflect US criticism of Pakistan providing safe havens to terror groups by saying that Indian intelligence agencies were backing terrorists from Afghan soil.
He said the Afghan government had admitted that the Pakistani Taliban was operating from Afghanistan.
The TTP had claimed the attack on the army-run school in Peshawar in which nearly 150 people, most of them children, were killed. Asif also said he had no problems with US defence secretary Jim Mattis’ remarks about the US deepening its ties with India with an eye on the situation in Afghanistan if such a move did not take place at the expense of Pakistan.
“That can take place but we don’t see any military role or strategic role of India in Afghanistan. If the US wants to have a relation with India that is not at our expense, why should we have any problems?” he said.
First Published: Sep 27, 2017 23:18 IST