Islamabad, March 31 (IANS) The capture of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan “has not led to a meltdown in relations altogether”, said an influential daily which added that the broader issue of spying between Pakistan and India should be worked out between the two states.
In the editorial “The Spy Affair”, the Dawn on Thursday said that while questions remain about the exact nature of Jadhav’s activities in Balochistan and the circumstances of his arrest, “it is obvious that India has a great deal to answer for”.
“Moreover, the weak and confused denials of Indian officials so far has added to a sense that the Pakistani version of events surrounding Jadhav is far closer to the truth than the Indian version,” it said.
“After years of unproven allegations, the Pakistani state has rather dramatically produced evidence of Indian interest and interference in Balochistan,” it added.
The daily said that perhaps what is most impressive is that the capture of an Indian national by Pakistan “has not led to a meltdown in relations altogether”.
“Had Jadhav been captured a year ago, it is more than likely that the already tense bilateral relationship would have plummeted to yet another low.”
The daily noted that in India too there has been a relatively muted reaction given that an Indian national has been shown confessing on national TV in Pakistan.
“Yet, it is in the continuing work of the Pathankot JIT that a real sense of perspective has been maintained,” the editorial said.
“In Pakistan allowing the investigators to go to India and the latter receiving them and permitting them to work as planned, both states have shown that the Jadhav affair is not going to overrule and cancel all other crucial issues.”
It went on to say that while prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi will now not meet in Washington after Sharif cancelled his trip in the wake of the Lahore park attack, it is hoped that a meeting elsewhere will be possible soon.
“…Instead of a public trial leading to all manner of nationalist and anti-Indian sentiment being unleashed, the fate of Jadhav and the broader issue of spying between Pakistan and India should be worked out between the two states,” the Dawn said.
It stressed, “If at the height of the Cold War, the US and the Soviet Union were able to manage the issue of spies captured, surely there is a way for Pakistan and India to do the same.”
It added that more troubling, though, is the allegation of going beyond mere spying and actively stirring unrest inside Pakistan. “A new set of rules needs to be drawn up on that front.”