Non Conventional Threat

Indian Spying: Kulbhushan Jadhav's Case

By Saddam Shah

Spying has been an essential and amoral part of warfare since the military history, while its scope has kept evolving with the dynamic nature of security, warfare and politics. In a world, filled with the voices of humanity, at least, espionage that immorally encourages the mass killing of non-combatants, seems very contradictory and controversial.

After Pakistan secured its military equilibrium with India by testing nuclear arsenal as its strategic deterrence against India, the only way to retain superiority for India remained a hybrid warfare to counter strategic stability by stimulating the instability of an adversary in all its sectors beyond military strength and an attempt to defeat the enemy without conventional war or nuclear preemptive strike.

Thousands of Pakistani civilians and soldiers have lost their lives, including many politicians and officials in the result of foreign promoted non-state and sub-state actors. Karachi being the most populated city and national economic hub has gone through violent chaos, while Balochistan due to political reluctance to deal its problems, has not only created a sense of deprivation among people but also has led to insurgency with its porous border open to being exploited as proxy land due to its beneficial geographic location.

Though that has been the case of every city of Pakistan, Karachi and Balochistan have been the most vulnerable targets due to their grievances and prominent ethnic, sectarian and political diversity, subsequently.

The political objective of terrorism can be different but its means is to terrorize the majority public. Every day bombing, manifestly, gives weight to voices of the people, having concerns over incapability of security institutions and that intensifies the instability through mistrust and lack of confidence due to state structural weaknesses, which despite its tremendous success in various operations has not been successful to ultimately uproot the threat, whereas, Pakistan is not the only case in this regard.

The recent meeting, on humanitarian grounds, of convicted Indian serving naval officer by Pakistan, Kulbhushan Jadhav, with his wife and mother was an opportunity for Indian media to create hysteria and to counter their propaganda, a similar response is given by Pakistani media, which reflects more than a stalemate on military and diplomatic fronts, a media warfare between two corporate media sides in Pakistan and India with a flavor of political gains by politicians based on rhetoric. But recent videos, thanking the governments of both India and Pakistan and briefing on the meeting, by the convicted agent, touch a different aspect on the story that seemly favors Pakistan's stance but also highlights the deterioration in ties between the neighboring countries that may be a signal for dialogue or back channel diplomacy.

In 2013, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor flourished and the same year Jadhav was picked for the covert mission and stationed in Iranian port city of Chabahar after settling his so-called business since last decade, with fake Muslim name on the original passport, as confessed in video and published publicly by Islamabad.

While, India has invested twenty billion dollars in Chabahar port, this year, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi in his speech, verbally supported the insurgency in Balochistan, and the same year, India had concerns over CPEC. These all are connected events that should be deeply analyzed and it was possibly expected before launching such a mega initiative of CPEC.

Where democratic values include human rights of having a free trial and others, there is a space for freedom of media too, which can't be stopped by security institutions at public places, and thus, Indian criticism makes no sense. Even Pakistan had offered a proposal for a press conference of Jadhav's family in the presence of national, Indian and international media that was denied by Indian High Commission, raises questions on the democratic values of largest democracy, indeed.

The Indian claim of kidnapping Jadhav from Iran, seemed an effort to target the ties between two friendly countries, as expressed by Iranian embassy in Pakistan, when Iranian president, Rouhani, visited Islamabad and then Iran also investigated the case and assisted Pakistan on its request, which could have helped Pakistan to strengthen its evidence.

Secondly, if it was kidnapping, there would have been a strong response from Iran that has not been the case. It seems, constructed myth of a surgical strike that India falsely claimed against Pakistan has been attributed here to Pakistan against Iran, which is not the Maldives, Nepal or Afghanistan and then after realizing its implications, linked it with Jaish-ul-Adl that sold the abducted Indian citizen to Pakistani, as per New Delhi's accusation.

Whether the meeting offered by Pakistan was on humanitarian grounds or not, is debatable but winning this case is significant for both the countries. Pakistan should respond legally to prove it to the world that India is indulged in pervasive chain of organized terrorist activities on its sovereign and undisputed land and on another side, India would be trying to defeat the neighboring country to prevent any sort of voices criticizing for its judicially evident sponsored-terrorism in Pakistan.

This case was taken by India to International Court of Justice, unlike the cases of other spies that are denied , highlights that Kulbhushan is owned by India who insists he is a former naval official with legitimate business in Iran. The confessional video by a military professional with a healthy medical report, as released after meeting, is not something ordinary and probably Indian government had no other choice to prove to the world that it is as clean as distilled water through playing its legal cards in United Nations' judicial body but it can be very extravagant for it if loses the case there.

Hence, by coming to ICJ, India has trapped itself in a problem that it should come out at any cost. Whereas, it is an opportunity with Pakistan to legally defeat the Indian covert policies and would harden for it to finance terrorism in Pakistan for, at least, some years and most importantly, it will satisfy the Pakistani civilians, to some extent, of their security and trust in state institutions.

As the press conference by Pakistan's foreign office confirmed that it was not a last meeting with the family and the possibility of consular access which is still not given, neither it is bound legally as argued by Pakistan in ICJ and could have been given if India had agreed for a cooperation to investigate the case, which they did not agree during the trial and the space of clemency could be another option on some conditions. This indicates that there are still other options with Pakistan and India but the prime option remains to legally contest the case in ICJ and that would go in favor of Pakistan if it provides solid evidence with persuasive arguments, which Pakistan must have.

It is not about hanging a person involved in covert operations of a state, as confessed, it is about to prove that India is not only financially supporting organized assaults in Pakistan but also providing the vital human resource to that.

It is now a legal case that should be won by arguments on credible intelligence reports and information to get politico-diplomatic international pressure on India to completely abandon its covert support to terrorists in Pakistan for its efficacious combating terrorism from the soil that has engulfed thousands of lives and financial loss, as well. Once Pakistan becomes economically strengthened, socially peaceful and politically stable, it would be a real passive deterrence to counter Indian offensive thinking against it.