KARACHI: Pakistan and India have a long history of arresting and trying ‘spies’.
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 the Kot Lakhpat Central Jail. He suffered severe injuries to 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.
Sheikh Shamim was arrested by the Pakistani authorities in 1989 and was charged with spying for the Research and Analysis Wing (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.
Ravindra Kaushik was born in Rajasthan, India, and was recruited by 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 other spy blew Kaushik’s cover.
Kaushik was incarcerated for 16 years and died in 2001 while imprisoned in Multan jail after contracting pulmonary tuberculosis.
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.
He 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 that he was paid about Rs400 a month for his work.
“I went to serve the country,” he told reporters in Chandigarh after his release. “Even the Pakistan authorities failed to get this information from me,” he added.
Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2017