Quepem: The External Affairs Ministry has been asked to extend all possible help to former Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav, arrested by Pakistan claiming he was a RAW operative, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday.
"We do agree, to the extent I know, that he is an Indian citizen and we have asked for consular access," Parrikar said, adding that he is concerned about Jadhav since he is a veteran.
Giving details, the minister said he had "indicated" to the MEA that Jadhav is an ex-officer and should be given all assistance and support required.
Praising External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Parrikar said the MEA was doing its best.
He said that Swaraj is very active and one can even reach her at night on Twitter and get a reply with action taken reports usually given by (next) morning.
"Sushmaji has been working vigorously to help Indians abroad who are in problem. In this case, since the other country has made allegations, it may take a longer time," he said.
Parrikar refused to comment anything more on Jadhav saying "other than paying him One Rank One Pension I cannot talk about anything on an ex officer".
Jadhav, a 1991 commissioned Naval officer, was arrested earlier this month by Pakistan authorities on the charges that he was dealing with Balochistan freedom fighters.
The allegation was that the officer, who retired in 2013, was an active RAW agent, a charge denied by India.
Government sources have said that Jadhav was a small businessman.
It is said that he often carried cargo to and from Iranian ports bordering Pakistan and has nothing to do with India's external intelligence agency.
Sources have said that there is no proof that the retired navy officer, who owns a cargo business in Iran, was arrested in Balochistan as claimed by Pakistan.
Jadhav could have been arrested after he strayed into Pakistani waters and was being wrongly charged, they said.
It is a matter of investigation whether he had accidentally strayed into Pakistani waters or was lured into Pakistan, sources have said.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Mar 28, 2016 21:10:01 IST