Sidra Insar Chaudhary
Pakistan’s security forces, during a counterintelligence operation, arrested Indian Navy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav on March 3, 2016, from Mashkel area in the Baluchistan province on the charges of terrorism and espionage for an Indian intelligence agency – the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on March 25, 2016, released Kulbhushan’s confessional statement in which in confessed being a RAW agent and taking part in terrorist activities to sabotage CPEC. He was tried in Military court under section 59 of the Pakistan Army act 1952 and found guilty and awarded the death penalty. India first denied having any link with Kulbhushan, however, after the decision, it approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for Kulbhushan’s release but its petition was rejected. The court, however, did ask Pakistan to provide consular access to Kulbhushan and afford him a chance to be able to appeal the military court’s decision in higher civil court. Throughout the whole process, India has constantly tried to build phony narratives through propaganda instead of just straightforwardly supporting it’s serving army officer.
Pakistan has been fulfilling all of its commitments under International law. As per the ICJ verdict, Kulbhushan was been provided consular access. Indian officials met him on September 2, 2019, and again last week for a second time. Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has offered the third consular meeting to rectify sham Indian complaints of security personal presence during the second meeting. Pakistan also promulgated a special ordinance, the International Court of Justice Review and Reconsideration Ordinance 2020, to concede Kulbhushan the opportunity to file a review appeal in Islamabad High Court. He can directly file the appeal himself, or through his representative, or Indian consular can also file a review petition for him. However, Kulbhushan Jadhav has refused to file any review petition, and instead, he is interested in pursuing his mercy petition. This decision has been his own, no Pakistan official coerced or pressurized him at all. But India has been quick to call it a forced decision. If Pakistan wanted to force Jadhav to opt for mercy petition, why would its government promulgate a special ordinance and subject itself to sharp criticism from the domestic political opposition? Opposition parties in Pakistan have been calling the ordinance a relief for Kulbhushan. Therefore, Indian efforts to contort the facts and present Pakistan’s efforts as coercion is a glaring falsehood.
The fact of the matter remains that Indian designs to destabilize Pakistan’s internal security and undermine CPEC have been exposed for the whole world to see. Even the former US defense secretary Chuck Hegel and General McChrystal, former US commander in Afghanistan, have admitted on record that India has been using Afghan soil to sabotage the Baluchistan province in Pakistan. India has been supporting and funding the so-called Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) for so many years now. BLA has been declared an international terrorist organization by the United States and the United Kingdom. Apart from Kulbhushan’s confessional statements, other proofs for Indian support for BLA can be found in the statements of Indian leaders. Even Indian PM Modi has said in a live televised address that he has been in contact with terrorists from Baluchistan.
India’s latest infatuation with Pakistan has been the CPEC, and since China is the main investor in the project, it has been indirectly targeted by Indian proxy BLA. In November 2018, BLA terrorists attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi, and then again, this month BLA attacked Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). Both attacks resulted in failures due to the excellent response by Pakistani security forces. PSX was chosen because 45% of its shares and management are under Chinese controlled companies. India also wanted to indirectly take revenge for Ladakh’s embarrassment by attacking the Chinese investment in Pakistan using its proxy BLA. The perpetual turbulence suggests that Commander Kulbhushan wasn’t the only one; surely, other RAW agents are working as BLA terrorists.
Notwithstanding the blood of countless innocent Pakistanis killed by Kulbhushan, Pakistan is still making, and perhaps it will not be wrong to say that going out of its way to satisfy all its moral and legal obligations. That is why Kulbhushan was allowed to meet his family as a humane gesture. And yes, the Indian government and media used that for their propaganda as well, calling it an attempt to trying to make Kulbhushan a double agent. India now has nothing to complain; according to the Ordinance promulgated by Pakistan, the Indian consular officer of the Indian High Commission himself can file a review and reconsideration petition as stated by ICJ. This leaves no ground for India to cry foul now.
Pakistan has gone through so much trouble for so long fighting Indian created monsters. However, India has utterly failed in its designs of creating instability in Pakistan by using non-state proxies of terrorism. The international community must condemn the countries that are actively aiding and funding terrorist organizations in Pakistan. Kulbhushan Jadhav’s arrest exposed, with irrefutable evidence, what Pakistan had been saying for several decades that India is causing the trouble inside its borders. So now that links between BLA terrorists and Indian Raw have been well established, the international community must surely condemn the Indian state for harboring terrorists to kill innocent civilians and subvert the peace in Pakistan.