Pakistan military on Monday shocked the world by awarding death sentence to a former Indian Navy official, Kulbhushan Jadhav, on alleged spying charges. The Indian Express reports Islamabad sources as saying that the death sentence to Jadhav came after “alarm” was raised over the disappearance of a former ISI official, Lt Colonel Muhammad Habib Zahir from Nepal.
Reportedly, Zahir disappeared from Lumbini, which is close to India-Nepal border. Zahir’s family believes that he was “abducted” by Indian intelligence agencies.
Pakistan-based Thenews.com.pk reports Zahir’s son Saad Habib as saying that Zahir had last called home on April 6 and he was received by a person called Javaid Ansari. Zahir had reached Nepal via Kathmandu after he allegedly received a job offer from a British man, who identified himself as Mark Thomas, offered him an “attractive job”.
However, according to Saad, Zahir’s family and friends probed the British telephone number and found that the job offer was generated from a computer, while the email domain and the related website were registered in India. This, Saad said, raised concerns that Indian agencies may be behind the disappearance of his father.
— ANI (@ANI_news) April 11, 2017
IANS reports that Nepal police are searching for Zahir, who went missing in Lumbini after reaching the country for a job interview.
According to IE, Pakistan suspects that Zahir may have been lured by Indian intelligence services. It is also suspected that Zahir has played an important role in running terror networks that target states on the Indo-Nepal border.
The truth of the matter, however, cannot be claimed as of now.
On Monday, Pakistan’s military court awarded death sentence to Jadhav, saying he was involved in spreading terrorism in Balochistan. Pakistan had released a heavily-edited video confession of Jadhav, who is shown confessing that he was working for India’s RAW to destabilise Pakistan.
Jadhav, a Maharashtra-born Indian Navy engineer had started dhow business on Iran’s Chabahar port and he had reportedly got a fake passport identifying him as Hussein Mubarak Patel.
Pakistan had denied India access to Jadhav after he was arrested by Pakistani officials on March 25, 2016. Iran’s envoy to Islamabad Mehdi Honardoost had dismissed Pakistan’s claim that Jadhav worked for RAW. A former German aambassador had said he was informed that Jadhav was kidnapped by Taliban inside Iran’s Chaman and sold to Pakistan’s ISI.