Pakistan

KHATMANDO – Muhammad Habib Zahir, the former Pakistan Army colonel, who is reportedly abducted by Indian agencies from Nepal’s Lumbini area, has not been recovered yet and the local police have said that there was no progress in this case, reported The News.

Talking to BBC Urdu, a senior Nepali police official, SSP Dipak Thapa said that the CCTV footage shows an unknown man received the officer at the Gautam Buddha Airport, which is also known as Bhairahawa Airport.

Record shows that Habib Zahir reached Kathmandu on April 6, 2017 and the same day he left Kathmandu airport for Lumbini by Buddah Air.

At 1300 on the same day, he sent a message from his cell to his wife that he has arrived in Lumbini, an area 5kms away from the Indian border. Since then, his cell numbers (Nepal and Pakistan) are switched off and no trace of him has been found.

During investigation, the Nepalese police have shown the footage to the taxi drivers and other transport operators and are trying to identify the person.

Pakistan informed the Nepal foreign ministry about the officer, who, according to an Indian newspaper was one of the team members arrested RAW agent Kulbhushan Jhadav from Balochistan.

A spokesperson of Nepal’s Interior Ministry said that they are unaware of the reason behind the visit of Habib to Lambini, adding that there was no booking of hotel in the area.

It may be mentioned here that the Indian Express, quoting its sources in the security establishment, said in a report Wednesday that Indian agencies had been on Zahir’s trail for long. Last seen in Lumbini, Zahir was in the team that nabbed Indian Naval Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav in March 2016 on espionage charges, it added.

Jadhav, in pursuit of targets set by his RAW handlers, was arrested by Pakistani authorities on March 3, last year, when he attempted to cross over into the country from the Saravan border in Iran. He was sentenced to death by the FGCM on April 10, 2017.

“A month ago, a man named Mark Thomson contacted the ex-army officer through email and from a UK phone number claiming Zahir had been shortlisted for the job of vice president/zonal director with a salary package of $3,500-8,500 per month and asked him to come to Kathmandu, Nepal for an interview on April 6,” a report in Express Tribune said.

Zahir was sent a business class ticket for April 5 to Kathmandu via Oman. According to the initial investigation, a man named Javed Ansari received him at Oman and provided him a Nepali cell phone number.

Pakistani authorities found that www.stratsolutions.biz is hosted in India with the name of Big-Rock and protection to the website was given by Privacy Protect Australia. Presently, the website has been closed and no data is available. Their twitter account is also closed now whereas the UK cell no 00447451203722 of ‘Mr Thomposon’ has been identified as a fake, rather is an internet/computer generated number. It was being used on telephone calling VOIP application.