Man Held In Pakistan Is Ex-Navy, Has ‘No Links With The Indian Government’ : MEA

A day after Pakistan’s authorities claimed that they have arrested a Commander in the Indian Navy for “illegal entry” and “subversive activities” in Balochistan and accused him of being an officer of India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India – for the first time in recent decades – acknowledged that he was indeed a former Indian Navy official.

While several Indian diplomats – whom The Indian Express spoke to – expressed surprise at the public acknowledgement, South Block maintained that they had “nothing to hide” – a stance maintained by India for several decades now – since the arrested individual was no more associated with the government. “This is, by far, the most high-ranking official – even if, he retired some years ago – who has been arrested in Pakistan’s soil, that too in Balochistan,” an Indian diplomat told The Indian Express.

The admission by the Indian government came hours after Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary on Friday summoned Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Gautam Bambawale to protest over what Pakistan Foreign Office claimed was the “subversive activities” of an Indian national who was an “officer” of R&AW.

“The Indian High Commissioner was summoned by the Foreign Secretary today and through a demarche conveyed our protest and deep concern on the illegal entry into Pakistan by a RAW officer and his involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.

In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the “said individual has no link with Government since his premature retirement from Indian Navy”. The Indian High Commission has now sought consular access to him, which means a diplomat will meet him after getting approval from the Pakistan’s authorities.

A day after Pakistan's authorities claimed that they have arrested a Commander in the Indian Navy for “illegal entry” and “subversive activities” in Balochistan and accused him of being an officer of India's external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India – for the first time in recent decades – acknowledged that he was indeed a former Indian Navy official. While several Indian diplomats – whom The Indian Express spoke to – expressed surprise at the public acknowledgement, South Block maintained that they had “nothing to hide” – a stance maintained by India for several decades now – since the arrested individual was no more associated with the government. “This is, by far, the most high-ranking official – even if, he retired some years ago – who has been arrested in Pakistan's soil, that too in Balochistan,” an Indian diplomat told The Indian Express. The admission by the Indian government came hours after Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary on Friday summoned Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Gautam Bambawale to protest over what Pakistan Foreign Office claimed was the "subversive activities" of an Indian national who was an "officer" of R&AW. "The Indian High Commissioner was summoned by the Foreign Secretary today and through a demarche conveyed our protest and deep concern on the illegal entry into Pakistan by a RAW officer and his involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi," the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement. In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the "said individual has no link with Government since his premature retirement from Indian Navy". The Indian High Commission has now sought consular access to him, which means a diplomat will meet him after getting approval from the Pakistan's authorities.