Kulbhushan Yadav

Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav (also spelled Kulbhushan Yadav, alias (alleged) Hussain Mubarak Patel(born 16 April 1970) is an Indian national who was arrested in Balochistan, Pakistan. Charges on Kulbhusan were of terrorism and spying for India’s intelligence agency—Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

The Pakistani government states that he was a serving commander in the Indian Navy who was involved in subversive activities inside Pakistan. He was arrested on 3 March 2016 during a counter-intelligence operation in BalochistanThe Indian government recognises Jadhav as a former naval officer but denies any current links with him

On 10 April 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan. On 18 May 2017, the International Court of Justice stayed the hanging, pending the final judgement on the case.

Kulbhushan Yadav

Jadhav was born in Sangli, Maharashtra, on 16 April 1970 to Sudhir and Avanti Jadhav. His father is a retired Mumbai Police officer.

Jadhav has two children and his family resides in Powai, Mumbai.[18][19] According to reports in the Pakistani media, Jadhav joined the Indian National Defence Academy in 1987 and was commissioned in the engineering branch of the Indian Navy in 1991.[5]

Pakistani media has also reported that , he began to gather information and intelligence within India, after the 2001 attack on the Parliament of India. He established a small business in Chabahar in Iran from where, he made several undetected visits to Karachi and Balochistan..[21][22][23]


According to the Pakistani government, on 3 March 2016, Jadhav was arrested inside Balochistan in Mashkel near the border region of Chaman.

Pakistani security forces reported Kulbhushan Yadav as a serving officer in the Indian Navy. He asserted that he was commissioned to the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency. They believed him to be involved in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi.[24][26]

Kulbhushan Yadav was soon shifted to Islamabad for interrogation.[7]

DG ISI Lt. Gen Rizwan Akhtar Baig


Pakistan stated that Kulbhushan Yadav entered Chabahar with a visa stamped on a fake passport numbered L9630722 in 2003. Where he got a new identity of Hussain Mubarak Patel — born in 30 August 1968, from Maharashtra, India.[5]  Officials claimed that his job was to destabilize Pakistan by strengthening a separatist movement in Balochistan and Karachi.

Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that Jadhav was obviously working for RAW.  He was in contact with Baloch separatists and terrorists. Fueling sectarian violence in the province and the country.[24] He further added that he was involved in financially supporting terrorists and that Kulbhushan Yadav has admitted his involvements in Karachi’s unrest.[24]

Interrogation also reportedly revealed that naval combat training was being conferred to Baloch separatists. Pakistani authorities stated that Jadhav has given details about his funding, and plans to destabilize the country.[5] They added that Jadhav also disclosed the presence of other Indian intelligence operatives in the southern metropolis.[5]


During interrogation Kulbhushan Yadav also reportedly revealed that at Wadh, he was in contact with Haji Baloch. Who provided financial and logistic support to Baloch separatists and the ISnetwork in Karachi.[5][6]  He also said that the masterminds of the Safoora bus attack, where gunmen shot dead 45 Ismaili passengers, were also in contact with Haji Baloch.[6] Jadhav added that he had met Baloch several times, sometimes for planning sectarian violence in Sindh.[5][6] . Pakistan said that, based on Jadhav’s information, it had arrested hundreds of undercover operatives.[25]

Pakistan’s DG ISPR Asim Bajwa said that Jadhav’s goal was to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through propaganda — with Gwadar port as a special target. And also to create disharmony among the Baloch nationalist political parties.[23][30] Kulbhushan Yadav had also reportedly purchased boats at the Iranian port in Chabahar to target Karachi and Gwadar ports.

Indian government reaction

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs stated that Jadhav was an Indian Navy officer. But he had retired prematurely and he had no current link with the government. The Indian High Commission also sought consular access to Kulbhushan Yadav but Pakistan did not agree to it.[32]Pakistan’s diplomat to India said that consular access wasn’t automatic during cases related to security. Explaining Jadhav had been travelling “under a fake name with an original Indian passport” since 2003.[25]

Media coverage

According to Indian sources, Jadhav was abducted by Pakistan’s forces from the Iran–Pakistan border and Pakistan fabricated his documents and leaked them without realising there were glaring inconsistencies in the same. According to sections of Indian media, the Sunni group Jaish ul-Adl is responsible for the kidnapping of Jadhav from the Iran–Pakistan border.[33]

As per Indian officials, Kulbhushan Yadav owned a cargo business in Iran and had been working out of Bandar Abbas and Chabahar ports. “It appears that he strayed into Pakistani waters. But there is also a possibility that he was lured into Pakistan sometime back and fake documents were created on him by the ISI.”[32]

Some Indian intelligence officials also suspected that Jadhav was abducted from the Iran–Pakistan border by an extremist radical group called Jaishul Adil. Jaishul Adil, designated a terrorist organisation by Iran, is linked to Al Qaeda and has been often accused of targeting Iranian border guards. 

Confession video

During the joint conference held by the army and the government, a ”video confession” by Jadhav was made public. Kulbhushan Yadav in the “video” said that the Indian intelligence agency RAW was involved in destabilising Pakistan. He also said that he was a serving officer of the Indian Navy and was working in Pakistan at the behest of the RAW.[23][29][30]

Referring to the video, Bajwa said, “There can be no clearer evidence of Indian interference in Pakistan,” and added that Jadhav’s activities were nothing short of state-sponsored terrorism.[29] In the video, Jadhav [29] acknowledged that he launched a covert operation against Pakistan from the Iranian port of Chabahar for which he used to get instructions from Research and Analysis Wing’s joint secretary Anil Gupta.[23][30] He also said that the RAW had been funding the Baloch separatists for the Balochistan insurgency.[30] Jadhav said:[23][30]

In the video, Kulbhushan Yadav also revealed that he had been directing various activities in Karachi and Balochistan.

Role of Iran

On 3 April, it was reported that Iran was investigating whether Kulbhushan Yadav crossed the Pakistan-Iran border illegally after the matter was taken up by Pakistani officials in Hassan Rouhani‘s visit to Islamabad.[42] However, Rouhani denied the report as a rumor, saying that the matter was not even mentioned.[43] Iranian Ambassador to India Gholamreza Ansarisaid that Iran was probing into the matter. He said that once Iran completes the investigation, it will share the reports with “friendly countries”.[44] The Iranian embassy in Pakistan criticized “certain elements in Pakistan” for spreading “undignified and offensive” remarks that were attributed to Rouhani and added that these rumours “will not impact the positive views of the two countries regarding each other” as Pakistan had proven to be Iran’s “trusted partner and neighbor”.[45]


On 10 April 2017, Kulbhushan Yadav was  sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan, following a confession before the magistrate and court.[14][46][15][47] Jadhav’s trial lasted three and a half months and the charges he was convicted for included spying for India, waging war against Pakistan, sponsoring terrorism, and destabilising the state.[48][49]

The sentence was confirmed by army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, and released via the ISPR.[49] Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif stated that under the provisions of the Pakistan Army Act of 1952, Jadhav had the right to appeal against his conviction on three appellate forums within 40 days.[48]

Following the sentencing, the government of India summoned Pakistani High Commissioner to IndiaAbdul Basit . And issued a demarche stating that the proceedings that led to Jadhav’s sentencing were farcical. And that India would regard Jadhav’s execution as murder in the first degree.[1] Basit replied to the Indian foreign secretary that “on the one hand you perpetrate terrorism in Pakistan and record a protest against us on the other. We have not done anything wrong.

A terrorist must be punished.”[50] In an interview to India Today, Basit said Pakistan held sufficient evidence against Jadhav.

International Court of Justice

In May 2017, India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to contest Pakistan’s death penalty.[54] The ICJ proceedings began in The Hague on 15 May to review the case. India and Pakistan both sent their legal teams to put forward their arguments, led by Harish Salve and Khawar Qureshi respectively. The last time both countries faced each other at the ICJ was 18 years earlier, concerning the infamous Atlantique incident.[55]

On 18 May 2017, the International Court of Justice stayed the hanging of Jadhav.[16]

On 22 June 2017, Pakistani sources confirmed that Kulbhushan Yadav had sought clemency from the country’s army chief. Pakistan also released a new confessional video of Kulbhushan Yadav, in which he stated that he visited Karachi twice.

He also admitted to supporting and funding, on behalf of India’s RAW, Baloch militants affiliated with the BLA and BRA, in addition to infiltrating and establishing “30 to 40 RAW operatives along the Makran Coast” for involvement in terrorist activities.[56]  Jadhav said that RAW’s activities in Balochistan and Sindh were conducted under the direction of Anil Kumar Dhasmana.[57]

India’s Foreign Ministry re-dismissed the confession as “false propaganda”. Stating that Pakistan was trying to influence ICJ proceedings while denying Jadhav consular rights.[58] Some Indian media sources claimed that the video was possibly doctored.[57] On 25 December, Kulbhushan Yadav‘s mother and wife met Jadhav in Islamabad after being allowed permission by Pakistani authorities.[59]

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