Pakistan releases another Kulbhushan Jadhav video: India must change tack and step up offensive

It is about time that New Delhi changed its tack vis-a-vis the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. There is not an iota of doubt that Islamabad will play this one for what it is worth and every now and again, some absurd premise will emerge. An instance of this is the latest release of a video showing Jadhav mouthing platitudes of praise for the Pakistani captors, and speaking about seeing fear in the eyes of his mother and wife.

These are typical tactics which were seen in WWII, Vietnam, Cambodia, and even the famous Gary Powers case when the pilot crashed over Russia after his spy plane was shot down in 1960.

One does not know in what manner Jadhav was forced to speak on camera. However, his clichéd statements ring so false that even putting them out in this plastic fashion is unworthy of any nation.

Kulbhushan Jadhav in the video released by Pakistan. Screengrab from Geo TV

Kulbhushan Jadhav in the video released by Pakistan. Screengrab from Geo TV

Pakistan has stooped to to an extremely low level by coercing the naval officer to make accusations against the Deputy High Commissioner for behaving rudely with his wife and mother.

The more India reacts and responds, the more dramatic and disbelieving the future scenarios will be. Pakistan is now having morbid fun at India's expense and we can expect more drivel in little pigeon droppings as the imagination in Pakistan runs riot.
This humiliation can only be avoided if India stops reacting and making stray protests, and rises above and beyond this macabre cause célèbre that Pakistan is making of the arrested naval commander. To wrest the initiative, India should go straight to the bigger picture and demand to know the condition of the other 13 so-called spies in Pakistani custody. Several Pakistani nationals are in Indian jails on charges of espionage. Two of them have been technically released, even though they were suspected of being ISI agents.

If India begins to open the cases of all 200-plus Pakistanis in Indian custody and also ups the ante by demanding to know more about the 54 Indian soldiers who disappeared in the 1971 war as well as all those on the current prisoner list, it will at least slow down the nonsense. That Islamabad fooled us once with a “humanitarian” gesture that was cruel is now history. Let’s stop giving it so much air time and space. With Pakistan already reeling from the Trump administration’s open condemnation, New Delhi must now launch its own offensive and not just respond to the insults hurled from the other side.

The latest list exchanged through diplomatic channels is our better bet. The Indian government should work on it and obtain some traction, with the Jadhav issue being integral but not dealt with in isolation. That way, the situation can be like the Kashmir Singh case again. Singh had spent 35 years in Pakistan jails before being set free in 2008 by President Musharraf. If Pakistan wants to grandstand, so be it. However, India should step up the pressure and not just protest in the aftermath of the most recent incident.

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Updated Date: Jan 05, 2018 16:39 PM

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