Islamabad/New Delhi: A day after Balochistan security forces claimed the arrest of a ‘serving Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer’, Pakistan summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to lodge a strong protest over ‘India’s spying activities’ in Balochistan and Karachi, Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) sources said. New Delhi however dismissed Islamabad’s claim that he was an Indian intelligence official.
A man believed to be a serving officer in the Indian Navy and a member of the Indian intelligence agency RAW was arrested during a raid in Balochistan.
“The spy was linked to separatist elements in Balochistan, as well as involved in acts of sectarian terrorism and terror attacks in Karachi”, a Pakistan security official had said.
The RAW officer had been shifted to Islamabad for interrogation, as he was suspected of involvement in various acts of terrorism and other subversive activities in the province, the official said.
Pakistan FO spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said Bambawale was summoned by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, who shared details of the man’s arrest with the Indian High Commissioner.
Chaudhry lodged a strong protest over the RAW officer’s spying activities in Balochistan and Karachi, making it clear that this was unacceptable, FO sources said.
Meanwhile Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Aamer Riaz accused elements sitting in London and Geneva of ‘hatching conspiracies against the stability of Pakistan’.
Speaking at an event on Friday, Riaz said the RAW agent had contact with separatist elements in Balochistan and was involved in a number of terrorist and subversive activities in the province.
“Our enemies do not want development and prosperity in Balochistan,” said Lt Gen Aamer Riaz.
He further said that the people of the country need to understand the dangers faced by Pakistan.
“The geographical and ideological borders of Pakistan are being threatened,” added Riaz.
The arrest of the suspected RAW officer comes just days before a possible meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.
In New Delhi, the government acknowledged the arrest of a former Navy official in Pakistan, but dismissed Islamabad’s claim that he was an Indian intelligence official.
“The person arrested has no link with government since his premature retirement from Indian Navy, the ministry of external affairs said on the purported arrest.
“India has no interest in interfering in internal matters of any country and firmly believes a stable and peaceful Pakistan is in the interest of all,” the MEA said.
India has also sought consular access to the arrested individual.
Balochistan home minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti on Thursday identified the “official” as Kul Yadav Bhushan who he alleged was a commander-ranking officer in the Indian Navy and was working for Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
Bugti claimed that Bhushan was in contact with Baloch separatists and terrorists fuelling sectarian violence in Balochistan.