India admitted on Friday that the man arrested by Pakistani security forces on Thursday in Balochistan had served in the Indian Navy as Islamabad lodged a protest with New Delhi and expressed ‘deep concern’ over the country’s spying activities in Pakistan.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti had identified the man as ‘Kul Yadav Bhoshan’, a commander-ranked officer in Indian Navy.
Bugti said Bhoshan was working for Indian spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), and was in contact with Baloch separatists and terrorists fuelling sectarian violence in the province.
“The Indian spy was involved in financially supporting terrorists and also confessed to his involvement in Karachi unrest,” Bugti had told reporters.
A day after the arrest, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry summoned on Friday the Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to the Foreign Office to lodge a formal complaint.
“Through a demarche the Foreign Secretary on Friday conveyed Pakistan’s protest and deep concern on the illegal entry into Pakistan by a RAW officer and his involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi,” said a brief statement issued by the Foreign Office spokesperson.
However, India dismissed the allegations of espionage but accepted the man had served the Indian Navy. Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday said the detained individual “has no link with (the) government since his premature retirement from Indian Navy”.
Indian authorities have also sought consular access to him. “India has no interest in interfering in internal matters of any country and firmly believes that a stable and peaceful Pakistan is in the interest of all in the region,” the spokesperson said, according to Hindustan Times.
Express News had reported that the security forces arrested the spy near the Pakistan-Afghan border region of Chaman. There were also reports that the suspect, who is believed to have been working with insurgent commanders in the region, had been moved to Islamabad.
According to details of interrogations issued by Interior Ministry, Bhoshan – bearing Indian Navy ID 41588Z – had been working for RAW since 2013. He had a passport on which his name appeared as ‘Hussain Mubarak Patel’ and he was issued an Iranian visa on it.
He was earlier deputed to the Iranian port in Chabahar. Later, he entered Balochistan and had been living there along with his wife and two children.
Bhoshan used local people in carrying out terrorist activities and was plotting to separate Balochistan and Karachi from the rest of Pakistan.
He was acting as training commander for Baloch separatist leader Dr Allah Nazar Baloch and also used pseudonyms like Mubarak Hussain, Hasan Baloch and Imdad Ullah. He also helped in Baloch separatist in moving to Afghanistan.
Pakistan has long been blaming India for fomenting insurgency and violence in Balochistan and Karachi. Last year in September, three dossiers containing proof of Indian involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan were also handed over to the United Nations.
Nisar to seek Iranian help
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said Pakistan will seek help from the Iranian government in connection with the arrest of an Indian official from Balochistan.
“Complete investigation into the matter is yet to take place but the arrest is a serious matter, which confirms Pakistan’s stance that foreign hands are involved in deteriorating law and order situation of Balochistan,” he said, while responding to a question on Friday.
Nisar said no country in the region should take the country’s efforts for peace and friendship as its ‘weakness.’ He appreciated the performance of sensitive agencies, whose endeavours cracked this anti-country network.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2016.