The Indian spy who served as major in Pak Army for 24 years
Islamabad/ New Delhi: The world of spy consists of oblivion, betrayal and torture. Despite the threat of certain death, spies have never shied away from responsibility of putting their life in danger for the sake of their motherland.
India intelligence agency is full of stories of such brave young men.
Kashmir Singh, Sarabjit Singh and countless other unknown names who have laid their lives for their nation.
However, not many are aware of the name Ravinder Kaushik.
Ravinder Kaushik was born in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan on April 11, 1952. He was a famous theater artist .
He was 'spotted' by the Indian intelligence agency, RAW. He was offered a job of an undercover agent of India in Pakistan.
Ravinder Kaushik was recruited by RAW and was given extensive training for two years.
He was taught Urdu language, circumcision was performed. He was made familiar with the topography of Pakistan and was given religious education. Being from Punjab-speaking Sri Ganganager, he was well versed in the language which is spoken in major part of Pakistan.
In 1975 Kaushik was flown to Pakistan. He landed in Pakistan with a fictitious name of Nabi Ahmad Shakir. He got himself enrolled in LLB course in Karachi University.
Post his graduation, he was joined Pakistan Army as commissioned officer and got promoted to the post of Major.
He even married a local girl and became a father of a girl.
From 1979 to 1983, while in military service, he passed on valuable information to RAW which was of great help to the Indian defence forces.
He was given the title of 'Black Tiger' by India's then home minister S.B. Chavan. Some testify that the title was conferred by then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
He spent 26 years of his life away from his home and family in Pakistan in very unfavourable conditions.
India thwarted many Pakistan attempts based on the information received from Kaushik.
On many occasions Pakistan prepared to wage war across the borders of Rajasthan in India, but they were foiled due to the timely advance warning given by Ravinder Kaushik, as he was a senior military officer in Pakistan by now and had access to top secret information.
Ravinder Kaushik defied the Pakistan Army and its top class intelligence service for 26-long-years.
They say, if you live by the sword, you die by one.
His cover was blown after Indian intelligence sent another agent Inyat Masiha, to get in touch with Black Tiger. But the agent was caught by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies and revealed Ravinder Kaushik's true identity.
Kaushik was then captured, tortured for two years at an interrogation centre in Sialkot. Ravinder was awarded death sentence in the year 1985. His sentence was later commuted to a life term by the Pakistan Supreme court.
Kaushik was kept in various jails, including Sialkot, Kot Lakhpat and in Mianwali jail for 16 years, where he contracted Asthma and TB.
The brave spy managed to secretly send letters to his family in India, from inside the Pakistan jail, which revealed his poor health condition and the trauma faced by him in Pakistani jails.
In one of his letters he wrote,
"Kya Bharat jaise bade desh ke liye kurbani dene waalon ko yahi milta hai?" (Is this the reward a person gets for sacrificing his life for India?)
On 21 November 2001, he succumbed to pulmonary tuberculosis and heart disease in New Central Jail Multan. He was buried behind that jail.