Amid ongoing tensions with India, security forces in Pakistan have reportedly arrested an Indian serviceman.
Pakistan has long maintained that India is using underhand tactics to try and destabilize the country. This includes attempts to paint a negative picture of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations in order to create tension between the two neighbors.
Indian spy (RAW agent) arrested in Balochistan province
Now security forces in Balochistan have arrested a man who is reportedly a serving officer in the Indian Navy and also works for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Indian intelligence agency.
The arrest was made as a result of a raid in the region, according to a security official. The man has since been transferred to the Pakistani capital of Islamabad for questioning.
It is thought that the man was involved in various acts of terrorism and other subversive activities in Balochistan. Baloch nationalists have long been engaged in an armed struggle against the Pakistani national government.
Pakistan says officer confessed to creating unrest
“The spy had links with separatist elements in Balochistan,” said the security official. He later added that the Indian operative was also involved in sectarian terror attacks in Karachi.
Indian involvement in Balochistan has long been suspected.
“It has been our contention that RAW has been involved (in creating unrest) in Balochistan,” said Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti. “The arrest has proved Indian involvement in Balochistan,” Bugti said.
“I congratulate Pakistan Army and FC for this successful operation,” he said.
In 2015 Bugti accused RAW and Afghan intelligence agency NDS of supporting the Baloch Republican Army (BRA), and other separatist outfits. It is alleged that they provided both weapons and training.
Pakistani officials have made similar accusations on multiple occasions. RAW has also been accused of providing money and weapons to Baloch insurgents operating in Afghan territory.
It has also been accused that the Baloch separatist leader Brahamdagh Bugti has been living in Indian consulates in Afghanistan, with the go-ahead from RAW.
Pakistan-India relations continue to suffer
The Indian officer, identified as Kul Bushan Yadav by local media sources, apparently confessed to sectarian terrorist activities in Karachi and Balochistan during initial questioning.
The arrest was made at a crucial time. Pakistani officials are set to travel to India to discuss the Pathankot incident. On January 2 gunmen attacked the Pathankot air base in Punjab, leaving 7 Indian servicemen dead.
Pakistan has offered to collaborate with India in investigating the attack. Officials in New Delhi have provided evidence linking Pakistan to the attack, including phone calls made by the terrorists using Pakistani phone numbers.
India blames Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his group for the attack. However an investigation by Pakistani officials reportedly revealed no evidence of their involvement.
“We searched their homes, seminaries, hideouts and also examined their call records for past three months and found nothing dubious,” a security official with links to the investigating team said.
Despite the proposed visit of Pakistani officials to India to discuss the attack, India maintains that Pakistan is not serious about collaborating. The relationship between the two countries is defined by a distinct lack of trust from both sides which makes meaningful progress difficult to achieve.
Tensions continue to bubble on multiple fronts, with unstable neighbor Afghanistan providing fertile ground for shady operations. It must be hoped that tensions can be decreased by high-level talks.