India's quiet multifaceted diplomatic efforts through formal channels and informal talks, besides a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Emir of Qatar, helped New Delhi secure the release of eight Navy veterans who were sentenced to death last year.
Achieving the release of the eight Indians, accused of spying for Israel, was a key item on the agenda of the Ministry of External Affairs since last year. The concerned division in the ministry and the Indian embassy in Qatar had worked quiet channels to gain the reprieve, ET has learnt.
The presence of veteran Gulf hand as India's ambassador to Qatar — Vipul — helped New Delhi leverage several channels to successfully secure the objective, according to observers. Vipul served as the head of MEA's Gulf division before heading to Doha last year. Simultaneously, the National Security Council Secretariat led by NSA Ajit Doval worked on its channel of contacts in Doha. The matter was handled deftly, and secrecy was maintained till the veterans returned.
Read more on economictimes.indiatimes.com
Earlier the capital punishment was commuted to an extended prison term following diplomatic intervention by the government. Last year, the PM met the Emir of Qatar in Dubai on the sidelines of the COP28 summit and the issue is understood to have figured during their meeting. «We appreciate the decision by the Amir of the State of Qatar to enable the release and home-coming of these nationals,» the MEA said in a brief pre-dawn statement on Monday.
ET had reported last year that India was in touch with the