MEA brushes off Frontline article on Jadhav

ANI | Updated: Feb 03, 2018 22:57 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 03 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday rebuffed a media report on retired Indian Naval Officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, saying that the article has "presented a mischievous false story".

In a statement, the MEA said that the article, published in English news magazine Frontline, was "riddled with factual inaccuracies" and posed a question mark on its credibility.

"Report riddled with factual inaccuracies & presents a concocted & mischievous false story. It relies on tutored videos released by Pak & furthers its propaganda. It places a question mark on its credibility & purpose," the statement read.

The MEA further clarified that Jadhav was a retired Indian Naval Officer, who was kidnapped in Iran and produced in Pakistan.

"Facts on K Jadhav remain what we released in our previous statements. He's a retired Indian Naval Officer, who was engaged in business in Iran, kidnapped in Iran and produced in Pakistan. We're fighting his case at ICJ (International Court of Justice)," it added.

The author of the article, Praveen Swami, has raised some questions over the official story and claimed that the governments of both India and Pakistan have been "economical with the truth".

"Precisely who Jadhav was and why he ended up where he did remain profoundly opaque. Basic questions remain unanswered; official documents are sealed. But interviews with over 10 diplomats and intelligence and naval officials from three countries make it clear that the governments of both India and Pakistan have been economical with the truth," the article read.

"Led by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, and now by Research and Analysis Wing's (RAW) Anil Dhasmana, the programme has registered unprecedented success, hitting hard against organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Muhammad," the author further wrote in the article, which appeared today.

"But the story of the man on death row illustrates that this secret war is not risk-free. Lapses in tradecraft and judgment, inevitable parts of any human enterprise, can inflict harm far greater than the good they seek to secure," it added.

Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan, Pakistan, over charges of alleged involvement in espionage and subversive activities for India's intelligence agency - the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

India, however, maintains that Jadhav was a former naval officer and kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

On April 10, 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan.

On May 18, 2017, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed the hanging, after India approached it against the death sentence.(ANI)