A few days back, Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national, was sentenced to death by Pakistan on charges of espionage. This move by Pakistan has further strained relations between the two neighbours, with India now looking for various options to rescue Jadhav from the haphazard ruling of this banana republic.

Diplomacy & putting international pressure is the conventional way of dealing with such a situation, which is what India is already doing. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj recently termed this death sentence an ‘act of premeditated murder’. But besides the obvious diplomatic & military options, it seems like India is already using covert means to pressurize Pakistan into releasing Jadhav.

Pakistani officials claim that a retired army officer was lured to Nepal with a job prospect before being seized by Indian intelligence. They say that Indian agents abducted Lt Col Mohammad Habib, who went missing on April 6 after arriving in Nepal.

One of the Pakistani officials said that records show that Habib ‘arrived at the Kathmandu airport on April 6. An Indian national took him to a hotel after receiving him’ at the airport.

Indian intelligence agencies are giving Pakistan a taste of its own medicine. Pakistan has a history of not heeding to logic unless & until forced into submission through overt or covert means. This is exactly what happened in the three wars where Pakistan’s brazen arrogance was cut to size by Indian military might. The same happened last year when Pakistan’s relentless push to terrorists was responded with the surgical strikes. Seems like this time too India is looking at all options to release Jadhav.

As per international norms, India has the right to consular access which has been denied 14 times by Pakistan. Pakistan’s claim that Jadhav has confessed to his crime is a mere eyewash& holds no substance, otherwise it wouldn’t deny India access to him.

Abduction of the retired Pakistani officer is absolutely the right step. Pakistan needs to be shown that it is not immune to damage. This Jadhav-episode is nothing but a pathetic attempt of Pakistan at retaliation to India making Balochistan an international issue. This could also be aimed at diverting attention from the CPEC which runs through disputed territories, & at showing the world that India is meddling in Pakistan’s affairs.

What RAW has done is the correct way of dealing with a rogue state like Pakistan. Finally, India has realized that Pakistan is incorrigible, which reminds me of a Hindi adage – ‘Laatonkebhoot, baaton se nahimaante.’


Vinayak Jain