March 04 , 2017

Yadav booked, not being returned to India

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told the Senate on Friday that no proposal was under consideration to return to India its spy and serving naval officer Kulbhushan Yadav as an FIR has been registered against him.

During the question hour, he vehemently denied that he had ever said that there was lack of evidence against the Indian spy. PPP Senator Sehar Kamran said it had been exactly a year after the spy was arrested and asked has enough evidence been collected of his involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan? She added Aziz had said in the Senate on December 7 last year that there was not enough evidence available against him and then a dossier was shared with the UN on December 31, 2016 about Indian the involvement in unrest in Pakistan.

To this, the adviser asserted that he never said there was lack of evidence against the Indian spy and insisted he had said that the evidence was being compiled. He added thatan FIR had been registered against him and a questionnaire sent to the Indian government so that in the light of that, the matter might be pushed forward.

He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will make a statement on this matter in parliament. He said Pakistan’s position that Indian state actors were involved in anti-Pakistan activities had received reasonable appreciation. He noted dossier had been shared with the UN secretary general in this context.

JUI-Fazl Senator Muhammad Talha Mehmood asked the adviser whether the government was planning to give the same 'red carpet' treatment to Jadav, as was given to the CIA operative Raymond Davis? The adviser replied firmly in negative.

“This dossier includes details about Kulbhushan Yadav and his activities,” he said about the documents shared with the UN top official. The adviser added the government was also examining possibilities for sharing the dossier with other countries and international organisations.

However, he made it clear that dossier was not the only route to deal with the issue, and the actual route was prosecution, for which a case was being prepared. Aziz explained the dossier had been prepared based on thorough groundwork and input from various state departments.

“This is a very delicate and sensitive issue and requires detailed preparation and homework as it relates to the direct and indirect involvement of Indian state actors in subversive and terrorist activities in Pakistan,” he said.

An interesting situation was witnessed in the House when, Leader of the Opposition and PPP Senator Aitzaz Ahsan challenged the prime minister to even mention Yadav’s name in a speech.

Ahsan said: "I had announced that if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif mentions the name of Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav in his speech, I will donate Rs50,000 to the Pakistan Association of the Blind.”

“Has the premier ever spoken about Kulbhushan Yadav by naming him?" Ahsan asked the adviser, who retorted by saying, “When the time is appropriate, the prime minister will speak about Kulbhushan Yadav.” There was no bar on naming him, he explained and quipped that the premier might name him in coming days and the association might get the donation.

As the House took up question no 22, asked by Senator Nuzhat Sadiq of the PML-N, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sh Aftab Ahmad to reply, but was stopped by Chairman Senate, who asked where was the minister concerned and wondered was he prepared for the reply.

“Well, what I have to say. They send files to me and I read them out here,” replied the minister and on this, the chair asked was letter written and sent for ensuring presence of ministers in the House.

Rabbani contended he had repeatedly given ruling on the matter and sympathised with the parliamentary affairs minister by saying that the minister was being burdened by his colleagues, who prefer to stay away.

“Either the ministers come to the House or the cabinet issue a statement that the ministers are not answerable to the Senate,” he retorted. Barring extra-ordinary circumstances, Leader of the House Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq emphasised that it was mandatory for the ministers to come to the House.

Senator Ahsan again rose to say that the ministers could be pardoned for the previous session, as they were duty-bound to reach the Supreme Court in connection with the Panama case and then interact with the media outside the court but the case is over now.

He insisted there was no justification for them to stay away from the Senate anymore and the chair must take action against the absentee ministers. Raja Zafarul Haq found it appropriate to hit back at Senator Ahsan by saying that he was so happy to find him in the House after such a long time and asked whose case he was fighting.

The chair took the government to task on the issue of not amending the related article of the Constitution for job quota for the federating units and asked if the government had no intention of doing so, then it should make a policy statement thereon.

He reminded Sh Aftab that it was not a matter of laughing at, as he had been reminding the government for the last two years about the amendment. The chair said a bill was pending for long in this connection but despite consensus among all parties, no headway was being made.



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