New Delhi: In a development that is likely to rankle the Pakistani establishment, Baloch activist Mama Qadir Baloch, in an exclusive conversation with CNN-News 18, divulged details of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav’s abduction by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence from Iran.
Baloch, who relies on information from a network of coordinators spread across Balochistan, said a man by the name of Mullah Omar Baloch Irani, a mercenary figure, was involved in the abduction of Jadhav from Iran’s port city of Chabahar. Baloch said coordinators of an organisation called ‘Voice for Missing Balochs’, of which he is the Vice-President, witnessed first-hand the kidnapping of Jadhav from Iran.
Irani, Baloch said, is infamous in Balochistan as an ISI hired hand, who is known to abduct Baloch activists and freedom fighters. “Kulbhushan Jadhav was kidnapped from Chabahar in Iran by a terrorist called Mullah Omar Baloch Irani, who works for the ISI in Balochistan. Our coordinators were there. ISI paid Mullah Omar crores of rupees to kidnap Kulbhushan Jadhav from Iran,” said Mama Qadir Baloch.
Giving further details of the abduction, Baloch said Jadhav’s hands were tied, he was blindfolded and pushed into a car. From Chabahar, he was brought to Mashkel, a town on the Iran-Balochistan border. From there he was brought to the provincial capital of Quetta and subsequently to Islamabad.
“We knew that Kulbhushan Jadhav was a businessman in Iran. A double door car was hired and Kulbhushan Jadhav was blindfolded, his hands were tied and he was kidnapped from Chabahar in Iran. He was then brough to Mashkel in Balochistan which is on Iran-Pakistan border. This was where he was handed over to ISI. The ISI declared that they caught Jadhav in Balochistan. In fact, Jadhav didn't even come to Balochistan. He was kidnapped from Iran by Mullah Omar Baloch,” Mama Qadir Baloch said.
Baloch said Mullah Omar Irani had, over the years, gained a menacing reputation in Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province. “Mullah Omar Irani works for the ISI. He is involved in kidnapping of many Baloch people and he's even involved in murders. He does it for money. He was given this task especially by the ISI and was promised crores of rupees.”
Baloch then put his coordinators to work, to further investigate the mysterious kidnapping of the Indian national. To his surprise, he found that Jadhav had never visited Balochistan in his life. “When he (Jadhav) was brought to Balochistan, the news spread about his kidnapping. When our coordinators tried to investigate, no one had any information about his alleged work in Balochistan. Whenever there is any kidnapping or murder, our coordinators inform us and we update our list. So, when our coordinators investigated, we got to know that he had never been to Balochistan. We have one coordinator in 28 districts with Baloch presence. No coordinator, no Balochi has ever seen him in Balochistan,” said Mama Qadir Baloch.
Mullah Omar Irani is a resident of Karachi. Baloch said, “Balochi freedom fighters attempted three attacks on Mullah Omar. He escaped but many of his aides died.”
He added, “ISI knows about everyone who enters or exits Balochistan. There are check posts everywhere. It's not possible for any foreigner to enter Balochistan without ISI's knowledge.”
Baloch said that using hired-hands to abduct people, particularly in Balochistan, was an old ISI tactic. In fact, he claimed, his own son was kidnapped by the Pakistani intelligence agency. “We have eye witnesses to prove that Pakistan army and ISI pay terrorist groups for kidnappings. Around 40,000-45,000 Balochis have been kidnapped. My son was kidnapped by ISI in 2009. We got his body after three years,” said Mama Qadir Baloch.
If push comes to shove, the ‘Voice of Missing Balochs’ will be willing to provide legal aid to Jadhav in some form or the other. “We are ready to help Jadhav legally in a court of law. We have eywitnesses who will prove his innocence. He never crossed border to come to Balochistan, so how is he involved in attacks?” said Mama Qadir Baloch.