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From Sarabjit to Jadhav: A history of Indian spies in Pakistan

Updated April 10, 2017

The Indian spy who has been sentenced to death, Kulbhushan Jadhav, is the most recent individual to be tried on espionage charges, but Pakistan and India have a long history of arresting and trying 'spies'.

Sarabjit Singh

Sarabjit Singh was arrested by Pakistani authorities in August 1990. At the time, India said that an inebriated 27-year-old Singh had strayed across the border while ploughing his field.

He was arrested on charges of carrying out four bombings in Faisalabad, Multan and Lahore which killed 14 Pakistani citizens. He was later sentenced to death.

Singh was fatally assaulted on April 26, 2013, by two fellow prisoners in Kot Lakhpat jail. Singh suffered severe injuries in the head and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital where a medical board comprising senior neurosurgeons treated him.

He died on May 2, 2013. The Indian government conducted a state funeral after his body was brought back to India by his family members.

Kashmir Singh

Kashmir Singh was a convicted Indian spy on death row and spent 35 years in prison in Pakistan. Throughout his incarceration, he insisted he was not a spy. He was arrested in 1973.

Kashmir Singh receives a hero's welcome on his return to India. -BBC
Kashmir Singh receives a hero's welcome on his return to India. -BBC

Singh was pardoned by then President Pervez Musharraf and returned to India where he was given a hero's welcome.

“I was a spy and did my duty,” admitted Singh after crossing the border, the Press Trust of India news agency reported, adding he was paid about 400 rupees a month for his work.

“I went to serve the country,” he told reporters in Chandigarh after his release.

“Even Pakistan authorities failed to get this information from me,” he added.

Ravindra Kaushik

Ravindra Kaushik was born in India's Rajasthan and was recruited by the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) while working as a theatre artist.

After receiving two years of training, he was sent to Pakistan in 1975, where he enrolled in Karachi University under the alias of Nabi Ahmad Shakir.

After graduation, Kaushik joined the Pakistan Army as a commissioned officer and got promoted to the rank of Major.

During 1979-83, he passed on sensitive information to RAW. His run as a spy ended when another Indian spy was caught by Pakistani forces. The arrested spy blew Kaushik's cover.

Kaushik was incarcerated for 16 years and died in 2001 while imprisoned in Multan Jail after contracting pulmonary tuberculosis.

Sheikh Shamim

Sheikh Shamim was arrested by Pakistani authorities in 1989 and was charged with spying for RAW, reported AFP.

Authorities said he was caught "red-handed” near the Pak-India border while spying. He was hanged by the authorities in 1999.