Another war of words broke out on Tuesday between India and Pakistan after the Pakistan army released a video of an arrested ex-Indian Navy officer purportedly "confessing" his "involvement" in terror activities in Balochistan which India promptly rubbished the claim stating that the video not only challenges credulity but clearly indicates tutoring.
The head of Pakistan Army's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lt Gen Asim Bajwa and Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid held a press conference in Islamabad to release the video, saying Kul Bhoshan Yadav "confessed" of working for Indian intelligence agency RAW to "foment trouble" in restive province of Balochistan.
"Kul Bhoshan Yadav is a serving Indian naval officer whose primary mission was to foment terrorism in Karachi and Balochistan," Bajwa told the media.
Yadav had been arrested recently in Pakistan, which described him as an officer of the Indian Navy, a claim debunked by the Indian government which said he had no link with the Government since his premature retirement from the Navy but Bajwa claimed that Yadav was still a serving officer due to retire in 2022.
In a press statement released in Delhi on late Tuesday night, the External Affairs Ministry said, "We have seen a video released by Pakistani authorities of a former Indian Naval officer, doing business in Iran, who is in Pakistani custody under unexplained circumstances. The video has this individual making statements which have no basis in fact. That the individual claims to make the statements of his own free will not only challenges credulity but clearly indicates tutoring."
"Government categorically rejects allegations that this individual was involved in subversive activities in Pakistan at our behest. Our enquiries reveal that he apparently was being harassed while operating a legitimate business from Iran.
"While we probe this aspect further, his presence now in Pakistan raises questions, including the possibility of his abduction from Iran. This would become clear only if we are given consular access to him and we urge the Government of Pakistan to respond immediately to our request," it said.
The statement further said, "It is also relevant to note here that despite our request, we have not been given consular access to an Indian national under detention in a foreign country, as is the accepted international practice."
"We are naturally concerned about his well-being in these circumstances," it added.
Bajwa claimed that Pakistan and Balochistan's maps were recovered from Yadav's possession. "He used to establish a network of operatives, provide funds, arrange and smuggle people for terrorism in the country," the spokesman added.
Citing Yadav's case, Bajwa accused India of carrying out "state-sponsored terrorism" in Pakistan. There cannot be a clearer "evidence of Indian interference in Pakistan", he claimed.
"Yadav converted to Islam and worked at Gadani under the cover of a scrap dealer. He was working for the Indian spy agency and there is an active RAW network in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan," Bajwa was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune newspaper.
The Pakistanis claimed that Yadav had established a small business in Chabahar in Iran and had "directed" anti-Pakistan activities in Karachi and Balochistan.
Pakistan last week summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to lodge its protest over "subversive activities" of the alleged RAW officer.
The government sources in New Delhi, however, said Yadav has nothing to do with India's external Intelligence agency. There is no proof that the retired navy officer, who owns a cargo business in Iran, was arrested in Balochistan as claimed by Pakistan, they said.
He could have been arrested after he strayed into Pakistani waters and was being wrongly charged, they added.
With inputs from agencies