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India dismisses as lie Pakistan remark to swap Kulbhushan Yadav for a terrorist

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-09-2017 Elizabeth Roche

New Delhi: India on Friday dismissed as “lies” Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif’s recent remarks that Islamabad had received a proposal to swap Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav for a terrorist who carried out the 2014 Peshawar school attack.

In New Delhi, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said, “ it seems that this is one more addition to the long list of imaginary lies and stories which have been created by the Pakistani establishment”, when asked to comment on Asif’s remarks.

At an event hosted by the Asia Society think tank in New York, Asif said that a terrorist who had killed more than 100 children at a Pakistan military academy in Peshawar in December 2014 was jailed in Afghanistan.

“The national security advisor (NSA) told me that we can exchange that terrorist with the terrorist you have, which is Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Asif told the audience at the Asia Society without specifying which country the NSA belonged to.

It is assumed that Asif was referring to the Afghan national security advisor Mohammed Hanif Atmar. But Atmar’s office denied that he had made the proposal to Pakistan.

Jadhav, a 46-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was in April sentenced to death by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial on charges of his alleged “involvement in espionage and sabotage activities” against Pakistan. He was arrested by Pakistani authorities last year and accused of aiding insurgents in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province. The case is at present pending before the International Court of Justice.

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