ISLAMABAD – The unlawful entry of an Indian spy suspected for causing violence led Pakistan to call on the Indian ambassador on Friday to protest against the illegal entry of the spy who Pakistan said was caught in the violence-plagued province of Baluchistan only the previous day.
Tension between the nuclear-armed rivals are expected to raise because of the accusation, after India threw the blame of an attack on an Indian air base on Pakistan-based militants, in which seven military personnel were killed.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement, “(Pakistan) conveyed our protest and deep concern on the illegal entry into Pakistan by a RAW officer and his involvement in subversive activities in Baluchistan and Karachi,” in which he was referring to the message conveyed to India’s ambassador.
Pakistan trusts India is supporting a separatist insurgency in resource-rich Baluchistan. Moreover, it also blames India of fuelling strife in the city of Karachi, nevertheless India denies any such interfering. Noting that RAW is India’s Research and Analysis Wing, its main external intelligence agency.
It was been a long-tome record of India accusing Pakistan for backing militants fighting Indian security forces in its part of the divided Kashmir region, of helping militants launch attacks elsewhere in India and backing the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Pakistan stated that it only offers diplomatic support to the Muslim people of Kashmir living under what Pakistan says is heavy-handed Indian rule. It denies backing militant attacks in India. A Pakistani military official in Baluchistan told Reuters the suspected RAW spy was an Indian navy officer. Another Pakistani official gave the same information.
Both declined to be identified as they were not authorised to give details of the incident to the media. One of the officials said the suspected spy had been moved to Islamabad for interrogation.
The neighbours have fought three wars since 1947, two of them over Kashmir which they both claim in full but rule in part.
Baluchistan’s provincial interior minister, Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, told reporters the arrest “proved Indian involvement” in his province.
Last year, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said RAW was bent on annihilating Pakistan.
“RAW has been formed to undo Pakistan and to wipe Pakistan off the map of the world,” Asif said in a television interview.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made improving ties with India a priority when he won a 2013 election. But his push is seen as causing friction with the army which sees relations with India as its domain. Last December, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise stopover in Pakistan to meet Sharif, the first visit by an Indian premier in over a decade.
The visit raised hopes that stop-and-start negotiations might finally make progress after decades of hostility.