NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday rubbished the “video confession” of a former naval officer arrested on charges of espionage in Pakistan, saying that it had ‘no basis’ in fact and for the first time, officially alleged that the detained Indian could have been ‘abducted’ from Iran by Pakistan authorities.
The ex-naval officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav’s six-minute-long statement was released by Pakistan government officials Tuesday evening. In the video, he could be seen ‘confessing’ that he was working for India’s external intelligence agency, RAW, and that he was still with the Indian Navy.
“The video has this individual making statements which have no basis in fact. That the individual claims to make the statements of his own free will, not only challenges credulity but also clearly indicates tutoring,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in its official statement.
The MEA further said that they had seen a “video released by Pakistani authorities of a former Indian naval officer, doing business in Iran, who was in Pakistani custody under unexplained circumstances.” It raised the issue of Pakistan refusing consular access to the Indian national.
“It is also relevant to note here that despite our request, we have not been given consular access to an Indian national under detention in a foreign country, as is the accepted international practice. We are naturally concerned about his well-being in these circumstances,” it said.
In fact, for the first time, New Delhi expressed its suspicion that the Indian national may have been abducted.
“While we probe this aspect further, his presence now in Pakistan raises questions, including the possibility of his abduction from Iran,” the MEA statement said, and added, “Our enquiries reveal that he apparently was being harassed while operating a legitimate business from Iran.”
“This would become clear only if we are given consular access to him and we urge the government of Pakistan to respond immediately to our request,” it said.
Refuting the confession made by the detained Indian in the video that he was “fomenting terrorism” in Balochistan province and the country’s financial capital Karachi, the MEA said, “The government categorically rejects allegations that this individual was involved in subversive activities in Pakistan at our behest.”
Ex-navyman claims he’s raw
The ex-naval officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav’s six-minute-long statement was released by Pakistan officials Tuesday evening. In the video, he could be seen ‘confessing’ he was working for RAW, and that he was still with the Indian Navy.