- Pakistan itself could gain ground after Imran Khan secured the release of POW Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthraman.
- The fact is that if he is innocent, he should be freed, and India and Pakistan should use that possibility as a negotiating chip.
The largest spy exchange in history took place on the tarmac of Vienna International Airport on July 9, 2010, between the US and Russia. Ten Russians who were involved in deception were sent home by the US, and four Americans were also sent home. It was spy vs. spy.
The spy swap’s 12th anniversary made some people aware of a former circumstance that is worth remembering. Has India forgotten about Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former navy captain who was detained in Balochistan by Pakistan in 2016 for espionage and acts of terrorism?
Getting consular access was like taking a wicket, and the wife visiting was seen as a catch in deep mid-on, but the kerfuffle that was caused in 2019 and 2020 at the International Court of Justice in The Hague and how it played out between Indian and Pakistani lawyers like some sort of legal cricket match with the same tensions and yelps of triumph is still fresh in people’s minds.
Even though the Pakistani Parliament approved a Bill in March 2022 allowing the former navy commander to apply for a reconsideration and have an Indian lawyer appointed to represent his legal interests, he is currently serving a sixth year of a death sentence. Jadhav is a dead tale, despite that. The media has done its duty, but in today’s instantaneous society, everyone has moved on and the story has lost its momentum.
The fact is that if he is innocent, he should be freed, and India and Pakistan should use that possibility as a negotiating chip. If he is in fact a spy, he is still acting as our agent and should not be forgotten or abandoned to rot. Even though the mysterious 007 plot is intriguing, it seems strange that India would send a former navy commander to a nation that is so completely enclosed on all sides by land. Not really his type of terrain. He could not have been learning about difficult mountain terrain while at sea, I’m sure.
It is absolutely time for the government to bring up this subject once more and give it top priority in terms of maintaining goodwill. In today’s drone and social platform intimate world, espionage is hardly a dark occupation. Every single attache in every embassy and consulate is hunting for information and trying to gain the inside scoop on the latest developments, primarily with the deployment and acquisition of defence.
On August 18, 2022, India and Pakistan will play a cricket match while an Indian prisoner who ought to be at home with his family right now is incarcerated in Pakistan.
Whatever one’s opinion of Jadhav may be, it is offensive how we as a nation treated the former navy officer by abandoning him to the wolves and walking away. Pakistan itself could gain ground after Imran Khan secured the release of POW Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthraman.
There have been instances of ‘agents’ coming in from the cold.
Pakistan returned five Indians who were convicted guilty of being spies on October 26, 2020. Their five-year sentence was now over. Jadhav is a sixth-grader. Therefore, it is not as though it has never been done. New Delhi may need to exert further pressure.