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‘Col. Habib Zahir retired years before Kulbushan was arrested’

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria on Thursday said that Pakistan can’t rule out involvement of hostile agencies in Colonel Habib Zahir’s disappearance.

Answering a question about the retired officer’s disappearance and the efforts to locate him during the weekly briefing, the FO spokesman maintained that the government of Pakistan has taken up the issue with the government of Nepal and is actively pursuing the matter and government of Nepal is also extending cooperation in the matter.

He added that keeping in view the emails and subsequent revelation about the fake account etc, it is a case of entrapment.

Answering a reporter’s question about India’s efforts to equate Col. Habib with RAW agent Kulbushan Jadhav, he maintained that the two cases are entirely different.

“You are talking about two very different cases. One case (Kulbhushan Yadav’s) is about irrefutable evidence of Indian state involvement in Pakistan in terrorism and terror-financing activities,” the FO spokesman replied to the reporter.

About the Indian Express report which suggested that the missing Pakistani retired army officer was among the team that led to the arrest of Kulbushan Jadhav from Balochistan, the FO spokesman said that the suggestion defies common sense.

“Col. Habib retired years before Kulbushan was arrested. Common sense does not suggest that a retired person could be assigned in such a case,” clarified Zakaria.

Colonel Habib Zahir is a former officer of the Pakistan Army who had gone missing in Nepal last week.

Col Habib had been working in Faisalabad since after his retirement from the army in 2014. A few months earlier he had uploaded his CV on LinkedIn and UN websites.

According to initial investigations of emails, Mark Thompson, a recruiter from Start Solutions website had contacted him through email in March and had offered him positions of vice-president and zonal director (security) with salary ranging from 3,500 to 8,000 US dollars.


Zakaria said RAW agent Kulbhushan was arrested red-handed, he identified himself and made repeated confessions about his involvement in terrorist and anti-State activities in Pakistan.

He said based on his confessional statement, terrorist networks were dismantled, a number of terrorist incidents were averted and a number of arrests were made.

The spokesperson said arrest of four terrorists by Sindh Rangers yesterday is also a case in point of Indian involvement in Pakistan.

Asked to comment on Indian External Affairs Minister’s reaction to award of capital punishment to RAW agent, the spokesperson said India stands exposed as far as its state sponsored terrorism in Pakistan is concerned.

About remarks of Indian Prime Minister during visit of his Bangladesh counterpart to New Delhi accusing Pakistan of terrorism, he said the Indian leader was referring to the state terrorism being perpetrated in Occupied Kashmir. Apart from killing Kashmiris, India has also declared a war on its own minorities and ban on slaughter of cow is one such example of India’s extremist pursuits.

He recalled that the Indian Prime Minister had also confessed of his country’s role in dismemberment of Pakistan and Pakistan had taken up this issue with world leaders and the UN Secretary General.

Nafees Zakaria said Indian forces martyred fourteen Kashmiris and injured 250 others during the last one week.

He said Pakistan condemns these killings and human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir and call upon the international community to help stop bloodshed there.

To a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan wants early and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute as per UN Security Council resolutions.

About elections in Occupied Kashmir, he said these are sham and Pakistan’s stand is clear that the Kashmir issue should be decided through a UN supervised plebiscite.

Replying to a question about US strikes in Syria, the spokesperson said Pakistan urges all parties to find a peaceful solution of the crisis.




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