A fresh row between troubled neighbours India and Pakistan is brewing as Islamabad claimed an alleged spy has confessed to espionage acts. The video confession, released by Pakistani authorities, evoked a sharp response from the Indian government.
Pakistani intelligence had earlier released video footage of a man named Kulbhushan Yadav admitting he was working at the behest of India's premier intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Indian equivalent of the CIA.
Pakistan's military spokesperson General Asim Bajwa presented the six-minute video as "evidence" in support of allegations that India is masterminding the unrest in restive Balochistan.
Responding to the accusations, India's ministry of external affairs said: "We have seen a video released by Pakistani authorities of a former Indian naval officer, doing business in Iran, who is in Pakistani custody under unexplained circumstances."
There are conflicting reports whether he was a sitting or a former naval officer. While Pakistan claimed he was still working with the Indian navy, authorities in Delhi say he retired from the navy prematurely to start his own business.
In the video, the purported undercover agent is heard saying: "RAW is involved in some activities related to the Baloch liberation movement within Pakistan and the region around it."
The Indian ministry added: "We have not been given consular access to an Indian national under detention in a foreign country, as is the accepted international practice. We are naturally concerned about his well-being in these circumstances."
Questions have been raised over the authenticity of the video and the alleged confessions.
"While we probe this aspect further, his presence now in Pakistan raises questions, including the possibility of his abduction from Iran. This would become clear only if we are given consular access to him and we urge the Government of Pakistan to respond immediately to our request."
Elements within the Pakistani government and the provincial administration in Balochistan have been blaming India for covertly supporting the separatist insurgency. But New Delhi strongly denies the allegations and insists it has no hand in the unrest.