‘Missing’ Pakistan operative was in team that trapped Kulbhushan Jadhav

Zahir retired from the Pakistan Army on in 2014 but was said to have been engaged thereafter by the ISI for its covert operations.

Written by Rashmi Rajput | Mumbai | Updated: April 12, 2017 8:23 am
Kulbhushan Jadhav, Kulbhushan Jadhav spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence, Pakistan, Kulbhushan Jadhav death penalty, India-Pakistan, nawaz sharif, pakistan, indo-nepal border, missing pakistan operative, Muhammad Habib Zahir, Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Army, Death Sentence, Spying, Pakistan PM, world news, india news, indian express news Kulbhushan Jadhav

Muhammad Habib Zahir, the retired Lt Colonel of the Pakistan Army who disappeared from Lumbini near Nepal’s border with India and now suspected to be in Indian custody, was in the team that nabbed Kulbhushan Jadhav in March 2016. Sources in the security establishment have told The Indian Express that Indian agencies had been on Zahir’s trail for long. He was last seen in Lumbini. Monday’s announcement of the Pakistan military court’s decision to award the death penalty to Jadhav, sources said, was tied to the disappearance of Zahir.

“Zahir was at the Indo-Nepal border last week. He was in the team that had trailed Jadhav. There is definitely a connection between the two cases,” an officer said. “No sooner did the Pakistani authorities learn of Zahir’s disappearance, Jadhav was pronounced guilty of being a spy. The purpose is clear. They didn’t want any Indian agency to go public,” the officer said.

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Zahir retired from the Pakistan Army on in 2014 but was said to have been engaged thereafter by the ISI for its covert operations. In 2015, he picked up conversations between Jadhav and his family members and started tracking him, sources said.

“Jadhav used an Indian passport issued in the name of Hussein Mubarak Patel to carry out his dhow business in Iran. Pakistani agencies heard him speaking to his family members in Marathi. Zahir started trailing Jadhav. A trap was laid and Jadhav was apprehended in March 2016,” the officer said.

Sources said Zahir was lured to Nepal with the promise of a “big catch”. The man who turned in Zahir connected with him through a UK phone number to pass “information on a mole”. He met Zahir a couple of times in Oman.

“Zahir arrived in Oman on April 2 and reached Kathmandu the next day. On his arrival in Nepal, he was handed over a SIM card at Bhairawa. Zahir was told that this was to facilitate his communication with a point person. From there, he was made to travel to Lumbini near the border,” the officer said.

Zahir’s family also told the press in Pakistan that he was likely picked by an “enemy spy” agency. A PTI report from Islamabad Monday said Zahir’s son Saad lodged an FIR with Rawat police station near Rawalpindi, saying his father was received in Nepal by one Javed Ansari who took him to Lumbini.

“We suspect that my father has been abducted and enemy spy agencies might be responsible for it,” a police officer quoted Saad as saying. “Enemy” word is often used for India in Pakistani security circles. Zahir last contacted his family on Thursday afternoon and since then his phone numbers have not been reachable.

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  1. K
    khadim hussain
    Apr 16, 2017 at 1:18 pm
    just one thing from ur man made story, if he is really innocent why he need to change his name in original p port as mubarak patel as per ur own version story, I was born in Iran and we have lots of indian friends with their Indian name, is it not illegal in India to make a original p port with fake name???, just one thing if u really want to know about the real story....
    1. R
      Apr 13, 2017 at 4:57 am
      This is just some drivel concocted by your editorial team. Can we stop unnecessary speculation please. And btw, your new auto comment-moderator truly sucks!
      1. S
        Apr 13, 2017 at 3:29 am
        ye log itny shameless aowr dheet hain ke even they know ke kaboshan fake p port pe tha aowr 2003 se le kear kaye aik ignements ke sath pak aowr iran a, enen iran ki aurthorities ne delhi sarkar ko inform kia us ke doubtful activities ke about.ab jab pakra a wo log jo dunya main apny ap ko m oom kehty hain aowr pori dunya ko apni dekhaty rehty hain ke pk bilawaja marta rehta hai ab hod us atanki ko support ker rahy hain. actually ro apni dharty ma ke baity ke liaye nahi rahy balke un ki agency aowr us ka atank nanga ho a hai. agar ap ne kisaab ke galy main phollon ke haar daly thay tu thek hay us ye ke galay main be wohi haar dal dia jayae ga.bagal main churra aowr mouth main raaam raaam..
        1. S
          Sreesheel Sreekumar
          Apr 12, 2017 at 6:14 pm
          stanis are smart, they saved their man from disappearing without a trace ! However, Indian Government should not admit that it is in possession of the operative ! Back Channel !
          1. L
            Lion of Pakistan
            Apr 12, 2017 at 5:14 pm
            Good shot indian's more you cry for ur spy it will make more headlines around the world.and World will have idea how and what Raw is bullying around. that what called 'chori aur phir sena zori' its a clear message to india if you send your spy then get ready for his funeral. Yes we know india is Mega power and stand 2 in world po tion but don't forget we stand 6th in the list of 233. Sending Terrorist to stan and cry when the get caught its not only criminal but shameful. Now world is more knowing the fact Indian agencies funding Terror activities around stan and cause hundred thousands of killing of innocent citizens of stan. come on more Moan and cry you moaners we know how to defend ourself
            1. Alok Mishra
              Apr 12, 2017 at 6:29 pm
              I dare you if you are a Lion then punish Jadhav and see how India retaliate..... Can you hang have you the guts?.......I Dare.!!.....Even if you hang him , India will. Ensure it murders 20stanis for every such murder.......Go on we are ready with our plans......Whether you murder him or not we will come out of it very nicely.We showed in 1965,1972 ,Kargil who are the Lions , Jadhav's is another opportunity where we can prove our point.......and believe we will grab this opportunity with both hands...... When The ultimate winner is declared it will only validate the past statistics....
              1. Yashavantha Belchada
                Apr 12, 2017 at 8:16 pm
                stanis khudke baap ko gadde mein dal sakte apna kaarwane keliye jihad ke naam we khud aish karthe gain air gareeb ko dhakel dete hain Baap me kandhe pe bete ka zanaza WO kya Jane suesh baabu apne kaam lene keliye Kashmir me ladkon ko taste me lekar aaye
              2. i
                Apr 13, 2017 at 7:28 pm
                Dear Lion Of stan, Please read the history, stan was defeated in all the 4 wars with India. In 71 war these so called 93K Lions were at the mercy of Indian army who spared the shameless surrendered rapist stan army POW. So keep your tall talks to your illiterate and misinformed people of stan who do not know iota of history
                1. Amit Kumar
                  Apr 13, 2017 at 7:54 pm
                  Friend are there any lions left in your country? The last time I heard someone talked about exporting donkeys to China.
                  1. A
                    May 21, 2017 at 10:56 am
                    Lion of stan? whose mazes , tail and half of the body was cut out in 1971 by India? ha ha ...... had a good laugh
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