India’s Weapon of Mass Destruction Against Pakistan: Kulbushan Jhadav
India’s obsession to impair Pakistan knows no bounds. The former has consistently and blatantly relied upon violence and terrorism as integral components of its policy to subdue Pakistan, which it considers as the prime obstruction in the way of its long held regional domination ambitions. While the core issue of discord between the two states, remains to be the Muslim dominated region of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Indian government’s systematic use of unrestrained violence against the local populace. The assertion stemming from the perception, that the resolution to Kashmir dispute will help create détente between the two is rendered flawed by mere historical facts. Ever since the 1971 war, India has proudly claimed credit for aiding the miscreants in East Pakistan now known as Bangladesh. From a modern retrospect, India’s intervention in East Pakistan may be a chapter out of history, but it serves as a perfect precedent to contextualize the Indian modus operandi in inflicting damage upon Pakistan be it in any capacity, and whether it’s a genuinely contested issue or not, exploitation of Pakistan’s vulnerabilities remains India’s trump card to date.
Excessive military violations on its border with Pakistan are a norm, however putting its asymmetric warfare capabilities to test, India has actively been attacking Pakistan from its western borders via its proxies operating through Afghanistan and Iran. In its quest to destabilize Pakistan, India is playing a dangerous game, which potentially carries impediments not just for Pakistan, but for the neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. In Pakistan the most vicious terrorist activities were carried out by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan TTP, whose one such main operative surrendered to Pakistan military and provided incriminating proof of Indian involvement in spreading chaos and mayhem within Pakistani frontiers. Working in cohorts with the Afghani intelligence agencies, Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing RAW has been working to provide material and financial assistance to the terrorists groups for targeting Pakistan and its forces. TTP, BLA and BRA are the main forces assembled to disrupt peace and security in Pakistan, they have struck sporadically all over the country, but their prime targets have been FATA, Baluchistan and Karachi. India believes that it can choke Pakistan if it continues to stir trouble for Pakistan within the identified target areas and has been ensuring its presence there through its undercover agents. An exemplar to which was brought to the fore when an undercover Indian agent was apprehended in a counter-intelligence OP by Pakistan’s security forces on 3rd of March, 2016, in Pakistan’s province of Baluchistan. Upon interrogation he revealed his name to be Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav, 48 years old, Indian national and serving officer in the Indian Navy. The passport he was carrying showed his name as Hussain Mubarak Patel and provided the details of his extensive tours around India, Iran, Pakistan, Thailand and UAE.
In a self-confession video, Jadhav revealed that he was recruited by the Indian intelligence agency RAW, he was stationed at the Iranian port city of Bander Abbas and was running a small business. Jadhav pointed out that his main mission was to disrupt China Pakistan Economic corridor, major chuck of which is housed in the province of Baluchistan. He was also charged with the responsibility by his handlers at RAW to disrupt the law and order situation in Karachi and found his undetected visits to Karachi in 2003 and 2004 as uplifting push for his self-described “criminal activities” in Pakistan. Posing as a businessman, he would transfer funds, ammunition and training tactics to the separatists in Baluchistan. Apart from that provoking anti Pakistan sentiments amongst Baloch student organizations was also a job entrusted upon him. Jadhav went on to disclose that RAW is actively operating within Pakistan and the regions around it.
Detailing the circumstances that lead to his arrest, he mentioned that he was arrested from within the Pakistani territory. He had travelled from Iran to the border on a cab and was carrying his forged passport to comply with the security checks on the Iranian side. Upon arrest by Pakistan, he willingly gave up his real identity and information on hope that his military official status would save him the trouble of being subjected to aggressive interrogation. Jadhav’s capture was consequential for Pakistan, as he handed over the information about his underground contacts in Pakistan, Iran and India. This was followed by almost 400 arrests all over Pakistan, leading Pakistani security agencies into seizing a barrage of weapons, maps and their future plots of terror. Aside his mission to disrupt Pakistani coastal areas he also targeted military installations at the hands of local proxies. Jadhav also admitted to have also been in close coordination with TTP, and financially aided them whenever required.
Initially India denied Jadhav’s existence, but as Pakistan went global with his video confession and irrefutable proof of him being an Indian spy and a serving naval officer, as a face saving attempt, India declared him an already retired military official. However, despite these farcical claims, India couldn’t oblige Pakistan’s request of providing his military credentials and other relevant documents to verify his retirement from the Indian military. Also the Pakistani questions pertinent to his Muslim alias and forged passport went ignored by the Indian authorities. Aside from the denial rhetoric, India failed to prove his identity otherwise and Pakistan went on to prosecute Jadhav under the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) as per the orientation of the crimes committed by him against the state of Pakistan.
As per the common laws in practice by common wealth countries, Jadhav was provided with an attorney and in the light of his confessions, Jadhav was sentenced to death. He reserves the option to make an appeal for clemency from the COAS of Pakistan armed forces and move onto the Presidential level subsequently. Further, an appeal to Pakistan’s higher courts also rest with him. Jadhav’s secret agent status fomented the fact that he couldn’t be treated as an ordinary foreign national and therefore Pakistan denied to comply with Indian requests for consular access to their spy.
Citing Vienna convention on consular services and resting its defense on Avena case of 2004, India appealed to the International Court of Justice ICJ. On 18th may 2017, ICJ barred Pakistan from carrying out his death sentence. Pakistan’s defense is solely embedded in preserving Pakistan’s sovereignty against intervention from hostile sources which also comports with the United Nations’ charter. India and Pakistan both have submitted their memorial and counter memorials respectively to the ICJ and it’s expected to reach its verdict on 21st February 2019.
As per the law experts in Pakistan the decision to act upon ICJ ruling isn’t binding upon Pakistan and India too on numerous occasions has denied ICJ’s jurisdiction on matters of International dispute with Pakistan, the last of which was in 2000, when Indian fighter jet downed Pakistan’s unarmed military plane. Should ICJ pursue a political bias in favor of India’s diplomatic clout, it would serve a blow to the International war on terror, setting a bad precedent for violence and subterfuge to be acceptable under selective circumstances.
Regardless the outcome of the ICJ’s deliberation, Kulbushan Jadhav’s capture has turned out to be a “Smoking Gun” for Pakistan as expressed in the words of Gen. Zubair. Pakistan has been fighting a tedious war against terrorism for more than a decade and while incurring irreparable losses, it has made tremendous gains, the terrorist events continue to dwindle and slide down to extinction as Pakistan vigorously cracks down on terrorists and their facilitators. Terrorism in Pakistan can be attributed to multiple actors but given to its convoluted nature, its life line is evidently perpetuated by few sources only. In retrospect of India’s past covert and self-acknowledged support of subversive activities against Pakistan, it would be a global infamy, should the International players continue to stay silent over Indian transgressions against Pakistan.