I was not a spy, says Kashmir Singh

March 8th, 2008 - 4:59 pm ICT by admin  

Chandigarh, March 8 (IANS) Tinker, smuggler, soldier, spy - after 35 years in Pakistani prisons on charges of spying, Kashmir Singh does not seem to be able to make up his mind on what he was. But he was very clear on one point Saturday - he was not a spy. In his latest flip-flop on the issue since his arrival in India Tuesday, Kashmir Singh said that the media had distorted his statement on his role in Pakistan, for which he was arrested by Pakistani security agencies in 1973.

“Main taan uthe black karan gaya si teh fadiya gaya. (I only went there to smuggle and was caught.) There is nothing more that I can say. Please don’t pressurize me. I was caught and was forced to admit that I was an Indian spy,” Kashmir Singh told IANS from his village Nangal Choran in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district.

Grappling with the latest controversy, Kashmir Singh said that he wanted to say the truth but could not.

“I don’t want to jeopardize the chances of scores of Indian prisoners languishing in Pakistani jails. Everyone knows what is happening. My release after 35 years has made a new beginning. Let others also be released from both the countries,” he said from his village 140 km from state capital Chandigarh.

The man instrumental for Kashmir Singh’s release, Pakistan’s caretaker human rights minister Ansar Burney, drew flak Friday after media reports that Kashmir Singh had admitted to being an Indian spy. Burney, a human rights activist, had pleaded Singh’s case saying that he was innocent of spying.

Kashmir had special praise for Burney’s efforts Saturday, he also thanked the Pakistan government for releasing him. But he was disappointed with the India authorities, and said so.

“Let me make it clear. I am not thankful to the government of India for my release at all. They did nothing either for me or for my family when I was there. My family suffered. I don’t regret what I did in 1973 as it was my choice.”

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