Condemned Indian Spy Creates a Dilemma for General Musharraf


Indian and Pakistani Home Secretaries shake hands in Delhi on Monday

By Arun Rajnath

NEW DELHI, August 30(2005): As senior Indian and Pakistani officials held formal talks in New Delhi on the fate of Sarabjeet Singh (Left), the RAW agent sentenced to death in Pakistan, Pakistani and Indian analysts admitted that General Musharraf was faced with a very tricky situation as he had already started hanging men accused of attempts on his life, although proper legal recourse had not been provided to these Pakistani citizens.

“Sarabjeet’s case has taken an important dimension as the entire Indian Establishment has put its diplomatic and political foot down to seek his release but Musharraf will face a lot of flak at home because he has quickly hanged one person and has lined up five others to go to the gallows for trying to kill him. How can he let an Indian agent go in such a situation,” an analyst writing for Pakistani newspapers from New Delhi asked.

Sarabjeet’s case is in the Supreme Court of Pakistan which confirmed his death sentence, but the five accused facing death are not even allowed to appeal in any court and the legal process they have gone through is very dubious. It is just like “Emperor” Musharraf ordering someone to be beheaded because he did something which the Emperor did not like, the analyst said.

Singh has been languishing in Kot Lakhpat jail in Pakistan for more than a decade and now is facing gallows but the question is still not clearly answered whether he actually has been a RAW agent? What would be his fate had the Indian media and some Pakistani organizations not raised this issue?

Sarabjeet may well be a RAW agent because RAW chief PK Hormese Tharakan, Intelligence Bureau Chief ESL Narsimhan and Home Secretary VK Duggal met at the Home Ministry on August 25, 2005 to discuss the matter and to report the ‘facts’ to the Prime Minister.

Home Ministry sources say that whenever such an agent is arrested in an enemy territory, the home country quickly disowns him. One such case was of Rooplal who spent 26 years in a Pakistani jail. He did not have media support like Sarabjeet. But then he was released and returned to India. Now he has become disenchanted with the system. Recently he visited New Delhi and talked to the South Asia Tribune.

Rooplal told this correspondent that the Government of India did not come forward to rescue him from the Pakistani jail. The authorities urged him to keep mum instead. Rooplal was an Indian agent and was caught thrice for espionage. He has also been a commando and Indian authorities sent him to Pakistan for the last time after plastic surgery.

He told SAT: “When I returned to India after serving in Pakistani jail, Indian authorities urged me not to utter a word as it would not be in the national interest. I kept mum for a time, but nobody came forward to help me out and provide financial assistance to me.”

“Thereafter, I filed a case in the court and the court ordered the Government of India to pay me Rs750,000 in compensation. The Government also promised me to grant a petrol pump and a piece of land. I have got the money but nothing else,” he complained.

Another case is of Vinjaram, who has been languishing in Pakistani jail in Hyderabad for eight years on the charges of espionage. Vinjaram belongs to Barmer district of Rajasthan. He crossed the border and was arrested by the Pakistani Rangers. A Pakistani court sentenced him to seven years. After five years of his punishment, his relatives received a post card in the year 2005.

On receiving the letter, his relatives came to know about his whereabouts. Initially they thought he had gone somewhere for some unknown reasons. They never knew that he was in a Pakistani jail.

Vinjaram’s wife Raju Devi told the South Asia Tribune: “I have been trying to get my husband released, but no Indian official has paid any heed to my requests so far. Since the Government of India is trying to get Sarabjeet released, I have become hopeful that my husband will also come back.”

Sources say two Indian armed forces personnel are also languishing in Pakistani jails besides many others. They belong to Indian State of Himachal Pradesh and are identified as Flight Lieutenant Sudhir Goswami and Captain Dalgeer Singh Jambaal. No Indian official is ready to talk about them.

About Sarabjeet, a co-prisoner with him in the same Pakistani jail, Gajjan Singh of Village Chak Allah of the Atari Sector, who was released and returned to India, told South Asia Tribune Sarabjeet was known as Manjit Singh. He said: “I do not know about his identity but he told me that he has been sentenced on fabricated charges and was compelled to confess that he was an Indian spy.”

Experts say it is a common practice of Indian agencies to hire common folk to become undercover agents. The idea is to hit and run on the motto: “Chal gaya to chal gaya. Mar gaya to mar gaya.” (If he succeeds, well and good. If he is dies, so what).

Such people are usually recruited by the G-Branch, an intelligence unit of the Border Security Force. The BSF compel villagers and smugglers to work for it, and after initial training they are pushed into the enemy territory. Later, they are recruited by the RAW and IB.

The Pakistani secret agency ISI also does the same thing. It also hires poor Pakistanis who live along the border. After giving them initial training, they are pushed into India.

The question is how much time it would take to dispel the clouds of doubt between the two countries? There are several Sarabjeets in Pakistani and Indian jails who have been made pawns by the secret agencies of the two countries.

%d bloggers like this: