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Pakistan summons Indian envoy, Delhi denies RAW link

By Ians

Islamabad, March 25: Pakistan on Friday summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale and lodged a strong protest after an alleged RAW officer was arrested in Balochistan. New Delhi denied the arrested man had any links with the Indian government.

The summons to Bambawale came a day after security forces claimed the arrest of a serving Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer during a raid three days ago in Balochistan, Dawn online reported.

The News International identified the alleged RAW officer as Kulbushan Yadav, said to be an in-service commander rank officer in the Indian Navy. New Delhi said it had sought consular access to him.

During initial investigation, Yadav is reported to have confessed his links with "separatist, sectarian and terrorist organisations in Karachi and Balochistan".

Foreign office sources were quoted as saying that Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry summoned Bambawale and provided him details of the arrest.

Chaudhry lodged a strong protest over the alleged RAW officer's spying activities in Balochistan and Karachi and said that this was unacceptable, Pakistani sources said.

The RAW officer had been shifted to Islamabad for interrogation as he was suspected of involvement in various acts of terrorism and other subversive activities in Balochistan, Pakistani media said.

In New Delhi, the government said it had no links with the alleged Indian spy.

"The said individual has no link with the government since his premature retirement from Indian Navy," a spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs said.

"We have sought consular access to him. India has no interest in interfering in the internal matters of any country and firmly believes that a stable and peaceful Pakistan is in the interest of all in the region," the official added.

The spokesperson admitted that Pakistan had summoned the Indian envoy and raised the issue with him.

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti confirmed the arrest of the Indian spy from the southern part of the province. "The arrest has proved Indian involvement in Balochistan," Bugti said.

Bugti added that the Indian spy was sponsoring terrorist and subversive activities in Balochistan. Maps of different installations and sites were reportedly recovered from him.

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