Monday, August 2, 2021
HomeEditorialIndia doesn’t want another Sarabjit

India doesn’t want another Sarabjit

Pakistan foreign office pushes propaganda on Kulbhushan Jadhav’s meet with family, repeats old allegations against him. Hope Kulbhushan’s story won’t go Sarabjit way. According another convict in Pakistan who was released later on Surjeet Singh, upon reaching India confessed that Sarabjit and another Indian detainee, Kirpal, had converted to Islam in the hope of getting “concessions” from jail authorities. Sarabjit is known as Sarfaraz while Kirpal’s Muslim name was Mohammad Deen. They embraced Islam for concessions from jail authorities and from the Pakistan government, but it didn’t happen. Sarabjit case hit the headlines many years, his sister made this issue international, finally his release was announced but he was attacked in the Central Jail Lahore Kot Lakhpat jail. According to his sister, the attack on Singh was pre-planned and the jail authorities were involved. His wife, sister and two daughters were allowed to visit him in the hospital but Sarabjit returned dead to Indian soil. The extraordinary publicity made it worst for him. Kulbhushan’s story took looks similar to Sarabjit.

You can never trust Pakistan government and its army or other institutions. This meeting Pakistan may later claim as consular access; or even for that matter, Jadhav may already have been told what to say to his family with the talk being monitored/recorded with the threat that he would further be put to torture if he says anything beyond the briefing. He may even have been told to convey to his family that he is a spy; thereby enduring that in the World court they can claim his confession.

Pakistan’s foreign office released photo of meeting between Kulbhushan Jadhav and family. Jadhav met his wife and mother for around 45 minutes across a glass screen. Going by the tweeted photos, Kulbhushan Jadhav could speak to his family only through intercom, with five officials present, and no physical contact allowed. Pakistan’s foreign office portrayed the brief meeting – coming after months of waiting on the family’s visa application — as a grand gesture on the birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In a few weeks, the top UN court, the International Court of Justice, is to hear India’s appeal against Jadhav’s death sentence on grounds that he never got an opportunity to defend himself. India has also accused Pakistan of denying Jadhav consular access in violation of the rules under the Vienna Convention.

The International Court of Justice stayed the hanging of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of spying. The order came a day after India approached by The Hague-based ICJ against the death sentence handed down to Jadhav by Pakistan’s field general court martial in April, sources said. India has accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention and said Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy but Pakistan claimed to have arrested him from Balochistan on March 3, 2016.

Many appeals were made; several petitions were filed to save Jadhav, because no one wants him to die the way Sarabjit died. Jadhav was born in Sangli, Maharashtra; his father is a retired Mumbai Police officer. He is married and has two children. His family resides in Powai, Mumbai. According to reports in the Pakistani media, Jadhav joined the Indian National Defence Academy in 1987 and was commissioned in the engineering branch of the Indian Navy in 1991. After the 2001 attack on the Parliament of India, he started gathering information and intelligence within India. After 14 years of service he entered into intelligence operations in 2003, and established a small business in Chabahar in Iran. From Chabahar, he made several undetected visits to Pakistan, where his activities were confined to Karachi and Balochistan.

According to the Pakistani government, on March 3, 2016, Jadhav was arrested inside Balochistan during a counterintelligence raid conducted by security forces. He was arrested in Mashkel near the border region of Chaman, having made illegal entry into Pakistan via Iran. Pakistani security forces reported Jadhav as a serving officer in the Indian Navy and asserted that he was commissioned to the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency. They believed him to be involved in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi. Jadhav was shifted to Islamabad for interrogation.

India accepted that an officer arrested in Pakistan served with their navy but at the same time denied that he was an agent for intelligence agency. Indian MEA communicated that Jadhav took premature retirement from the navy and the government had no link since his retirement from the Indian Navy. India expounded that Pakistan had fabricated the documents without ascertaining discrepancies. Pakistan has previously raised concerns over involvement of foreign elements in terrorist activities in its territory but this was the first instance of India acknowledging the arrest across the border of an individual associated with its armed forces. Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy but Pakistan claimed to have arrested him from Balochistan on March 3, 2016. Pakistan stated that Jadhav entered Chabahar with a visa stamped on a fake passport numbered L9630722 in 2003 where he got a new identity of Hussain Mubarak Patel — born in August 30, 1968, from Maharashtra, India. Officials claimed that his job was to weaken Pakistan by solidifying separatist movement in Balochistan and Karachi — a mission that officially began in 2013.

Jadhav’s trial lasted three and a half months and the charges he was convicted for included spying for India, waging war against Pakistan, sponsoring terrorism, and destabilising the state. Following the sentencing, the government of India summoned Pakistani High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit and issued a demarche stating that the proceedings that led to Jadhav’s sentencing were farcical and that India would regard Jadhav’s execution as murder in the first degree. After Sarabjit’s death too, Indian government assured consequences with Pakistan but that remained only a Jumla. This time the big question is that, can we save Jadhav?

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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