An edited version also posted at GroundZero.
“Your monkey is with us”
Those were the words Pakistani intelligence services used to inform their Indian counterparts that their spy terrorist Kulbhushan Yadav has been caught and is in Pakistan’s custody. That was last year. Kulbhushan Yadav was arrested 3 March 2016 by Pakistani intelligence services in a counter-intelligence operation from deep inside Balochistan where he entered via Iran, where in Chabahar he was running a gold business while posing as a Muslim businessman, complete with a nice Muslim name Hussain Mubarak Patel. Yadav joined the Indian National Defence Academy in 1987 and was commissioned in the engineering branch of Indian Navy in 1991. After 14 years of service he launched into intelligence operations in 2003 and established a small business in Chabahar in Iran. Yadav is a serving officer in the Indian Navy and was due for retirement by 2022 as a commissioned officer. Kulbhushan Yadav has confessed to funding and facilitating terrorism and separatism in Pakistan’s Karachi and Balochistan. He was also deeply involved in sabotage operations against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which Indian government openly opposes. Here is the full confessional statement of Kulbhushan Yadav.
India initially denied that Kulbhushan Yadav is its man but then quickly backtracked and admitted that indeed Kulbhushan Yadav is an Indian from Indian Navy but he had retired. This spin also didn’t work for very long as many experts pointed out that if Kulbhushan Yadav is not an active Indian spy then how can he give accurate information about his seniors in Indian intelligence. This spin was also destroyed by India’s own Mumbai Mirror that, after confirming from Indian intelligence officials, published a report that Kulbhushan Yadav is indeed an Indian spy and was caught by Pakistani intelligence services after he was heard speaking in Marathi with his family in India. Yadav also revealed that there are several more Indian spies in Pakistan who are actively working against Pakistan’s interests. The network of agents and proxies Yadav was running in Pakistan was itself unbelievably huge. Yadav helped in exposing dozens, some say hundreds, of agents and proxies that were active in Yadav’s network, from Balochistan to Karachi. Indeed, Kulbhushan Yadav’s arrest is being hailed in intelligence circles as a major victory of Pakistani Intelligence Community (IC). Such examples are very hard to find even in the shadowy world of spies.
Connection Of Colonel Habib Abduction With Kulbhushan Yadav
There are a lot of rumors in Islamabad right now. Questions are being raised. India has recently kidnapped a retired Pakistan Army colonel Mr Habib from Nepal, who was trapped by Indian intelligence services into flying to Nepal to apply for a job which was offered to him by a front dummy company set up by Indian intelligence specifically for this purpose. Once he landed in Nepal, he was abducted by the Indian intelligence services and his abduction is currently being investigated by Nepal government as well since any foreign citizen who goes missing from Nepal’s soil is also Nepal’s responsibility. Besides, Nepal itself is all too aware of India’s bullying of its neighbors. In a masterstroke which neutralized India’s evil plan, Pakistani intelligence services leaked the news of Col. Habib’s abduction to Pakistani media and in a matter of minutes it was in international headlines. While India may have abducted Colonel Habib to use him as a swap for Kulbhushan Yadav, as most Pakistani and even Indian observers agree, Pakistan foiled India’s plan by rushing ahead with the trial of Kulbhushan Yadav, who has been given death sentence by Pakistani military court under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA). This is not the first time a spy has been given a death sentence; indeed there’s a long history of spies around the world who have been put to death for their extraordinary crimes. This is also not the first case of an Indian spy being caught by Pakistan and India denying involvement, only to admit it later. Surjeet Singh was another Indian spy, in the long list of Indian spies, who was spying in Pakistan for Indian intelligence agency R&AW and yet he denied it the whole time. Except when he was released after 30 years and set foot on Indian soil, he then promptly admitted that he was indeed a spy.
There are some questions to be asked at this point: was the news that Pakistan is about to give a death sentence to Kulbhushan Yadav leaked from Islamabad to New Delhi, which resulted in the kidnapping of Colonel Habib? Moreover, did someone in Pakistan inform on the movements of Colonel Habib to New Delhi? Was Colonel Habib under surveillance in Pakistan? If YES, then there needs to be an official investigation led by Pakistan’s superior intelligence agency ISI into this. According to my own assessment, there may be mole(s) who may have passed some information to New Delhi.
Not A Spy But A Spy Terrorist
India is in panic mode because for the first time, since the invention of social media, a major Indian spy has been caught red-handed by Pakistan and there is a video confessional statement of him. But this is no ordinary spy. Espionage is one thing. Hybrid warfare is a completely different thing. Kulbhushan Yadav is not a simple spy. He was leading the Indian hybrid war in Pakistan. A hybrid war
is a mixture of several things: proxy warfare (includes terrorism, sectarian terror, separatism, etc), economic warfare, diplomatic warfare, political warfare, cyber warfare, influence operations (includes media operations), PSYOPS, etc. To learn more about hybrid warfare, read
what Western defence analysts have to say about Russian hybrid warfare, which is adopted from Soviet hybrid warfare tactics. India, for quite some time now, has been engaged in hybrid war against Pakistan since India knows it cannot face Pakistan in a conventional or nuclear war.
Kulbhushan Yadav was also in contact with Uzair Baloch, who was also working for Iranian intelligence
and had deep connections with gangwar criminals in Karachi, India-backed Baloch separatists in Balochistan as well as Pakistan’s political elite
. This connection between Iran and India in anti-Pakistan activities is just the tip of the iceberg and the complete details of this evil nexus and its full past activities will probably be kept secret by Pakistan for strategic reasons for a long time. This is also partially why Kulbhushan Yadav’s trial could not have been an open trial in a civilian court, as some in India and in Pakistan have ignorantly called for. An Indian spy who has been active since 14 years in operations against Pakistan will surely divulge some very sensitive information in court proceedings, and if the trial is publicly open it could jeopardize Pakistan’s national security. Pakistan is also not obligated to provide consular access to Kulbhushan Yadav or show him mercy because he is not a normal spy who was simply involved in espionage. In the past
, Pakistan has quietly sent back Indian spies who were involved in standard spy activities. Kulbhushan Yadav is a spy terrorist who has been leading India’s hybrid war on Pakistan in his capacity and in his own confessional statement he admits that his actions have resulted in the killing and maiming of Pakistani citizens. We live in a world where some intelligence agencies are not simply involved in standard spy stuff but they’re also actively involved in hybrid warfare against other rival countries. When U.S. nabbed Jonathan Pollard
in 1984, who was an intelligence analyst and was spying for Israel, U.S. sentenced him to life imprisonment even though U.S. and Israel are closest allies. His crime was passing classified information to Israeli government. Standard espionage. And it wasn’t even aimed against U.S. but mostly only to benefit Israel. And yet he got life imprisonment and was only recently released on parole after spending thirty years in incarceration. On the other hand, Kulbhushan Yadav was not only involved in espionage but in many heinous crimes against civilians. Under every international law, Kulbhushan Yadav is a terrorist. Therefore, Pakistan is right to give him the death sentence and should immediately proceed ahead with it as it is what justice, to all those who were killed, wounded or lost family members because of the actions of Kulbhushan Yadav, really demands. Kulbhushan Yadav has blood of innocent Pakistani citizens on his hands. Every breath he takes is a stab in the hearts of those who have seen their loved ones maimed, their limbs torn, their dreams broken.
India has threatened “consequences” if Pakistan moves ahead with the death sentence of Kulbhushan Yadav. India can also blackmail Pakistan with Colonel Habib, who is believed to be in Indian custody. Here I would argue that Pakistan should not get blackmailed as Pakistan is on the right side of history. Colonel Habib is innocent while Kulbhushan Yadav is a spy terrorist. Swapping one for the other would be senseless and a grave injustice to all those whose lives have been destroyed as a direct or indirect result of Kulbhushan Yadav’s actions and it will be rejected by Pakistanis. Instead, Pakistan should execute Yadav and get ready to counter India diplomatically and covertly if India blackmails Pakistan with Colonel Habib. Pakistan’s diplomats need to build their case on Indian terrorism in Pakistan and present it at every small and big international forum. Declare total diplomatic war on India. If there was ever a time when Pakistan needed an effective, strong foreign policy, it is now. There needs to be some firing and hiring in Islamabad. Pakistan will find a way to bring Colonel Habib back home, but not by getting bullied by India.
India is setting a dangerous precedent by kidnapping innocent Pakistanis and if India doesn’t back off, Pakistan has the right to engage in tit for tat actions, which will open doors to something to which there is no end. No Indian or Pakistani around the world will be safe anymore. It is not Pakistan but India that needs to think of the consequences
. Pakistan is ready to play the game. But is India up for it?