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Pakistan Minister’s remark on swap offer on Jadhav a lie: India

IANS | New Delhi |


India on Friday termed as an “imaginary lie and story” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif’s claim that an offer was received to swap Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav for a terrorist behind the Army Public School attack in Peshawar in 2014.

“You have already seen a press release issued by the Afghan National Security Adviser’s office. If you have gone through the press release, it seems this is one more addition to the long list of imaginary lies and stories created by the Pakistani establishment,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a weekly media briefing here.

“You have seen what happened at the UN General Assembly — how a fake picture was shown to be from India but it turned out to be from another country. So, another lie has been added to the series of lies,” the MEA Spokesperson said.

Kumar said he would normally not comment on a purported conversation between two personalities but was making an exception in this case.

Asif had claimed that an offer was received to swap Jadhav for a terrorist behind the Peshawar Army Public School attack in 2014, who, he (Asif) asserted, was now in Afghanistan’s custody.

“The terrorist who killed children in APS (Army Public School) is in Aghan custody. The NSA told me we can exchange that terrorist with a terrorist we have, which is Kulbushan Jadhav,” Asif said on Tuesday.

Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for allegedly spying for India.

New Delhi has denied that Jadhav was working for Indian intelligence and has appealed to the International Court of Justice to stop his execution.

Asif, who was answering questions after a speech at the Asia Society in New York on Tuesday, did not specify which NSA he was referring to and did not expand the initials. From that vague reference, it was not clear if Pakistan’s National Security Adviser had conveyed the offer or if it was made by an entity or individual in another country sharing the initials NSA.

Asif also did not identify the terrorist in Afghanistan’s custody.

Answering another query, Kumar said India has time and again asked Pakistan to not allow terrorists to operate from its soil and to dismantle terror infrastructure on its territory.