Islamabad, Aug 9(IANS) - India has released nine Pakistani fishermen as a goodwill gesture, a…
NEW DELHI: Even as India is still awaiting the consular access to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pakistan government has gone ahead with filing an FIR against him charging him with terrorism and sabotage. Whether a coincidence or another sign of chill in relations, an Indian national Kirpal Singh (50) of Gurdaspur, who was languishing at a Lahore jail for more than 20 years almost on similar charges was found dead in his cell on Monday evening.
FIR filed by the Counter Terrorism Department of Balochistan
The FIR filed against him by the Counter Terrorism Department of Balochistan government stated that Jadhav was reportedly arrested after he entered the province from Iran. Without specifying the date of the FIR, media reports from Pakistan alleged that Jadav was arrested last month form Chaman area of Balochistan which lies near the border with Afghanistan. Terrorism, foreign act violation and sabotage charges have been included in the FIR, agencies quoting the sources said. If convicted, he could be sentenced to death under the various charges.
India denies allegation
India has denied the allegation, only admitting that Jadhav was a former navy officer. Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup, while rejecting charges, said they were still awaiting consular access to ascertain the truth behind his arrest. “The said individual has no link with government since his premature retirement from Indian Navy. We have sought consular access to him,” he said.
The government is also seeking repatriation of the body of Kirpal Sigh, who died in a Lahore jail, under mysterious circumstances. A resident of Gurdaspur, he had allegedly crossed Wagah border into Pakistan in 1992. He was subsequently sentenced to death in a serial bomb blasts case in Punjab province, by the trial court. Later the Lahore High Court acquitted him from bomb blast charges, but continued his death sentence citing other charges.
Pakistan commutes sentence of Surjeet
In July last year, Pakistan commuted sentence of another alleged Indian spy Surjeet, who upon his return accused intelligence agencies for not taking caring of their moles and their families, once they get caught. Similar allegations were leveled by Roop Lal Saharia, and Kashmir Singh, who returned in 2008 after spending spending three decades in a Pakistan jail.
Though Indian intelligence establishment is completely tongue-tied on sending spies, former security officials say, that often the Indian Army, Border Security Force the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and others do hire local villagers to report on the movement of Pakistani forces, or to drop dead letters etc. But they can be hardly called deep-penetration agents, whose actions and missions form a plot for spy thrillers.
Tales of agents
The tales of deep-penetration agents, who merge in backgrounds hardly come to fore. Former spy masters also say, it is unlikely, that their arrests is reported so publicly. “Once a spy is roped in for gathering offensive intelligence, he is told to remember that his umbilical cord with his parent agency and the government is cut forever,” said a former intelligence officer.
So far only the case of Ravindra Kaushik of Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan could be categorised as a spy thriller. Hired by the IB, trained, sent to Dubai where he was given a fake Pakistani passport, he was reported to have joined the Pakistani army as an officer known as Nabi Ahmed.Ravindra
In September 1983, Indian intelligence agencies had sent a low level operative, Inyat Masih, to get in touch with him. But the agent was caught and blew Kaushik’s cover. At the age of 50, Kaushik died in a Multan jail in 2002, the year a former IB officer M K Dhar published a fiction, making him its central character. He is stated to have written to his brother Rajeshwar before death: “Had I been an American, I would have been out of this jail in three days.”