NEW DELHI - Many senior intelligence operatives are opposed to the strategy adopted and by India to ensure the safe release of Kulbhushan Jadhav from Pakistani incarceration.
The intelligence community says this circus in which Jadhav has come be just a pawn being played out in the media is badly hurting the country's strategic interests and doesn't follow the rules under which global intelligence agencies function.
An Indian veteran of psychological warfare has rightly pointed out that the way in which the whole issue has played out has ensured that the only beneficiary in the controversy is Pakistan which is gaining the "sympathy" of the international community as "big brother" India is using all tricks to prove Jadhav is an "innocent businessman".
The controversy has badly hurt the Indian operations to help people of Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in their struggle for freedom and to stop China from moving ahead with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which threatens to violate the sovereignty of India.
[image: jad690_123117120115.jpg]Kulbhushan Jadhav
Prime Minister Narendra Modi once famously said from the ramparts of the Red Fort the "people of Balochistan, Gilgit, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have thanked me, have expressed gratitude, and expressed good wishes for me," for extending support to them.
The "live" minute-to-minute reporting of every step taken by the television news channels and the "debates" where the guest from the "other" nation is virtually "bashed up" by the guest of the host nation with the anchors on the show taking sides to prove their "patriotism" is only increasing the animosity between the people of India and Pakistan.
This is only benefiting the TRP ratings of news channels to get more advertisements. There is no credible mechanism available to enforce the decisions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), except to move the United Nations Security Council, where China is sure to block any move against Pakistan with a veto.
India has made a big mistake by taking the case of Jadhav to the ICJ in Hague. This has not only internationalised the Jadhav case, but also given a golden opportunity to Pakistan to internationalise the contentious Kashmir issue. A retired intelligence operative said Pakistan is now planning to move the ICJ on the Kashmir issue.
India has so far succeeded in stopping the super powers from meddling in the Kashmir issue by citing the Shimla agreement to resolve all contentious matters strictly between India and Pakistan. Now Indian politicians and diplomats will have to face tough questions from the international community as the agreement stands weakened.
Many top Indian intelligence officials suggest that Jadhav should be exchanged for Pakistani prisoners in India. They indicate India has "few prisoners" who can be exchanged with Pakistan for Jadhav.
They point towards the quiet exchange of intelligence agents caught spying during the Cold War.
The best known example is, however, a recent one and took place between Russia and United States. In July 2010, 10 SVR (Russian external intelligence agency) agents caught in New York were swapped at the Vienna airport for four Russians working for the CIA, who were languishing in prison.
One of the swapped SVR agents, a woman named Anna Chapman, later become a model and walked the ramp in Moscow fashion shows.
One of Steven Spielberg's successful movies, Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks, is based on a true story, where a lawyer was recruited to negotiate the exchange of prisoners caught spying.
The mute witness to this the historic development is the Glienicke Bridge across the Havel River in Germany which straddled the border between former East and West Berlin.
Due to its isolated location, it was used to exchange many high-ranking spies between the Eastern and Western powers.
There is still hope that ISI and R&AW will act wisely, take a lesson from other intelligence agencies and exchange Jadhav with captive Pakistani intelligence operatives in India. - India Today
Written by: Kanwaljeet Singh