Lt-Col Habib Zahir's disappearance in Kathmandu: No proof India abducted him, says Pakistan minister

Islamabad: There is no evidence that the Indian intelligence is behind the reported abduction of a retired Pakistani colonel in Nepal, a Pakistan minister has said.

Flag hoisting ceremony at Wagah border (representational image). AFP

Flag hoisting ceremony at Wagah border (representational image). AFP

Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch informed the Senate on Wednesday that the purported kidnapping of retired Lt Colonel Mohammad Habib could not be taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) or the UN on the basis of assumptions.

It was yet to be established that Col Habib had been picked up by the Indian intelligence agencies, he said.

"No final report suggesting that the Indian intelligence agency or the Indian government was involved is available with the Foreign Office or the government," the Dawn newspaper quoted him as saying.

Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani asked if the statement meant that the Foreign Office was exonerating India from the alleged kidnapping.

Baloch added: "We are hundred per cent sure that Indian intelligence agency R&AW is behind the kidnapping but the evidence to this effect is not final."

But he said the Habib issue appeared to be linked with the conviction of alleged Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav in Pakistan. "But material was required to legally prove" this.

He said the Foreign Office was trying to obtain "solid evidence" and Nepal had been asked to get in touch with three Indian nationals who had received Habib at the airport when he flew into Kathmandu.

He said it was unclear if the three were Indian government employees or civilians or working for a private firm. The matter had also been taken up with the Indian government.

The minister said the incident took place two months ago, but expressed his "helplessness" about what he alleged was non-cooperation from Nepal.

Opposition leader Aitzaz Ahsan alleged that Nepal, unlike in the past, was not cooperating on the issue of Habib.

Senator Rehman Malik of the Pakistan Peoples Party urged the government to take the issue to the ICJ and the UN.

Habib's disappearance from Nepal has been widely linked in the Pakistani media to the death sentence given by a Pakistani military court to Jadhav.

Updated Date: Jun 08, 2017 14:54 PM

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