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Indo-Pak fresh diplomatic row over arrest in Pakistan

Indo-Pak fresh diplomatic row over arrest in Pakistan
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Speaking on the purported arrest of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) official, the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the arrested person has no connection with the government since his premature retirement from the Indian Navy. 

He also asserted that India has no interest in interfering in internal matters of any country. “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 the region,” he said.

Earlier on Friday, Pakistan summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to lodge its protest over “subversive activities” of an alleged RAW officer, a day after Pakistani security forces claimed to have arrested him. 

“The Indian High Commissioner was summoned by the foreign secretary on Friday 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.

Pakistan’s move to summon Indian High Commissioner on Friday was surprising as the Indian authority has so far not reacted to the provocation raised by Pakistan’s invitation to the Separatist leaders. Top Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq met the Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Thursday for a lunch meeting.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti on Thursday identified the “official” as Kul Bhushan Yadav who he alleged was a commander-ranking officer in the Indian Navy and was working for RAW.

Bugti claimed that Bhushan was in contact with Baloch Separatists and terrorists fuelling sectarian violence in Balochistan. 

In 2015, Bugti had made a similar claim and said that RAW and NDS were behind the funding and training of Baloch Republican Army (BRA) militants. 

The minister, however, did not disclose the exact location of where he was arrested.

The alleged 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 Balochistan, Pakistani media said.

Bugti added that the Indian spy was sponsoring terrorist and subversive activities in Balochistan. Maps of different installations and sites were reportedly recovered from him.

Pakistan on several occasions has accused India of stoking sectarian violence in Balochistan. 

In September, 2015, Pakistan’s national newspaper reported the arrest of two alleged RAW officers in Parachinar in Kurram tribal agency. 

Another man alleged to be a RAW officer was arrested in August, 2015, in Lahore, reported another media house, adding that he had said that Indian intelligence agents ran their network in Pakistan through mobile SIMs.

Pakistan had accused India of stoking violence in Balochistan and Karachi in the past but it is for the first time that it has claimed arresting a RAW officer. India has dismissed all such allegations.
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