India hit out at Pakistan on Friday night, dismissing its claims that there was a proposal to swap the Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav for a terrorist. India cited Afghanistan NSA’s statement to reject Pakistan’s claims and said that it was just another ‘imaginary lie’ from Islamabad. This statement was a reaction to Pakistan Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif who claimed that he had received the proposal to swap Jadhav with the terrorist, lodged in an Afghan jail, during his meeting with an NSA. However, Khwaja did not identify the NSA or the terrorist who was to be swapped.
However, the Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Haneef Atmar dismissed these claims. He issued a statement saying there was no mention or reference to India or an Indian citizen during his meeting with the Pakistani foreign minister on September 21 in New York. This statement from Asif came at a gathering at the Asia Society in New York on September 26 where he said that Pakistan received a proposal to swap Jadhav for a terrorist who carried out the horrific 2014 Peshawar school attack and is now jailed in Afghanistan.
The External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson reacted strongly to this statement by saying that the office of the Afghan NSA suggested that the claim by Asif was one more addition to the long list of “imaginary lies” by Pakistani establishment. The statement by Atmar’s office said the two sides, during the meeting, had detailed discussions on a variety of issues including bilateral cooperation.
“The two sides also discussed sanctuaries in Pakistan and exchange of the top five Taliban leaders detained in Pakistan. There was no mention or reference to India or an Indian citizen,” it said, adding Atmar was hopeful that the record of the meetings are reported accurately and facts are not “misconstrued”.
“If you have gone through the press release (issued by Afghan NSA’s office), it seems this is one more addition to the long list of imaginary lies as stories which have been created by Pakistani establishment,” said Kumar.