Srinagar: Former Indian Navy officer and an alleged spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav, on Monday met his family members in Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad for the first time since his arrest and subsequent conviction on charges of espionage.
Jadhav’s family travelled to Islamabad on a commercial flight and will return to Delhi the same day. They were accompanied by Indian deputy high commissioner J P Singh to Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs office.
After the meeting, which lasted for more than 30 minutes, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) released a new video featuring Jadhav, in which he thanked the Pakistan government for allowing him to meet with his family.
“I requested a meeting with my wife and mother and I am thankful to Govt of Pakistan for this grand gesture,” the Indian Express quoted ANI.
MOFA spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal, at the press conference, listed down Kulbhushan Jadhav’s alleged espionage activities on Pakistan soil.
Faisal alleged that Jadhav was tasked by India’s RAW and other intelligence agencies to “sabotage, destabilise and wage war against Pakistan.”
“Let us be very clear that commander Jadhav is the face of Indian terrorism,” he said.
At a press briefing in Islamabad, the Pakistan foreign office released a new video featuring Kulbhushan Jadhav in which he thanks the government of Pakistan for allowing him to meet his wife and his mother.
Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav?
Almost a month after his arrest, Pakistan released a video of Jadhav ‘confessing’ to being a spy for RAW. In the video, Jadhav said he had been directing various activities in Karachi and Balochistan “at the behest of RAW”, the Indian intelligence agency and that he was still with the Indian Navy. He also “confessed” that he was recruited by RAW in 2013, but established “a base” in Iran’s Chabahar 10 years before that, making clandestine journeys to Karachi and Balochistan. According to officials in Pakistan, Jadhav had converted to Islam and worked at Gadani under the cover of a scrap dealer. The Ministry of External Affairs, however, rejected the video calling it doctored and fake.
Jadhav was identified in India as the son of Sudhir Jadhav, a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police in Mumbai. His uncle, Subhash Jadhav, was in charge of the Bandra police station in 2002 when the hit-and-run case was registered there against Bollywood actor Salman Khan. According to sources from his family, Jadhav had sought premature retirement from the Navy in order to start his own business.
Details about his involvement with the RAW are ambiguous. Jadhav obtained a passport (E6934766) from Pune in November 2003. This passport identified him with the pseudonym, Hussein Mubarak Patel. According to this passport, Jadhav was born in 1968 and joined the Navy in 1987. His batchmates remember him as an elusive person, who never attended reunions and remained absent for long periods. The address on his passport too was incomplete.
Not much is known of his stay in Iran. According to sources in Chabahar, Jadhav lived with his family; his family, however, declined to comment on this. The Indian theory regards his arrest as one done by deceit. According to officials, Jadhav may have been lured into Pakistan since he was caught with his original passport.