Thomas demands consular access for ex-Naval officer held in Pakistan

"We should be taking all measures to protect our national interest as well as our citizens," the former Union minister said.

Updated - November 17, 2021 04:42 am IST

Published - March 26, 2016 06:09 pm IST - Kochi

Accusing the Modi government of “washing its hands off” on the issue of arrest of a former Indian Navy officer in Pakistan, senior Congress MP and former Union minister K V Thomas on Saturday demanded that the Centre provide immediate consular access to him.

Mr. Thomas, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, alleged that the speed at which MEA statement acknowledging identity of the arrested man, Kul Yadav Bhushan, was issued, indicated India had been given prior information about the detention.

“Government of India has the obligation to protect our citizens, be they are part of government, military or civilian. Modi government is washing its hands off the issue by stating that Kul Yadav Bhushan is an Ex-Navy not a RAW member,” he said in a Facebook post.

He said, “Yadav should be immediately given consular access.

“Even if Yadav is a RAW member, it should be read with the heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, including the attacks on Pathankot, border skirmishes and many terrorist plots which originates from the other side of the border, all of which clearly has Pakistan Army or ISI support,” he said.

“We should be taking all measures to protect our national interest as well as our citizens,” the former Union minister said.

Citing instances like Union minister Prakash Javadekar representing the government at the Pakistan Day function at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi notwithstanding the invitation to hardline separatist Hurriyat leaders, Mr. Thomas said, “despite a clear intent to destabilize India, Modi government is seen to be bending down to Pakistan”.

“Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif are travelling to Washington to attend the Nuclear Security Summit on March 31st with a possible unannounced meeting or even dropping by in Pakistan.

“All this at a time when BJP and Modi government is shedding crocodile tears in the name (of) nationalism and taking on students accusing them on abusing the nation and disrespecting the Armed Forces,” he said.

He asked where is the Modi government “who stated we will not tolerate any strikes on India or Indians. We’ll always wield the initiative on either being friendly or engaging in aggressive action. We will strike at a place and at a time of our choosing.”

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