Former Indian Navy Officer Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence by a Pakistan military court united the opposition parties in Parliament.
The court on Monday charged him with being a RAW agent who was stimulating the Baloch separatist movement and attempting to sabotage the $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
However, India denied the charge against him and said the hanging will be a “premeditated murder”. After the judgement, New Delhi summoned the Pakistani high commissioner Abdul Basit and said the court proceedings as “farcical” and put on hold the release of several Pakistani prisoners scheduled for Monday.
Pakistani media termed the verdict as “unprecedented”. Yesterday military’s media wing in a statement said a Field General Court Martial passed the sentence and it was confirmed by the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
English paper ‘The Nation’ reported, “A military court on Monday sentenced a high-profile Indian spy to death, ratcheting up longstanding tensions between the nuclear-armed states.”
The paper also quoted defence and political analyst Dr. Hassan Askari that this death sentence would increase the tension between two countries. “The military has given a severe punishment which is according to Pakistani law. But we will have to see if Pakistan can sustain the political and diplomatic fallout,” he said.
Sushma Swaraj warned Pakistan
After Pakistan court’s judgement, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj warned Pakistan that it would face the dire consequence; the bilateral relationship between the two countries will suffer if it carries out the killing of Kulbhusan Yadav.
The Union minister said in a statement, “I would caution Pakistan govt to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter.”
She added, “There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Jadhav. If anything, he is the victim of a plan that seeks to cast aspersions on India to deflect international attention from Pakistan’s well-known record of sponsoring and supporting terrorism.”
Sushma stated the verdict by the Pakistani Military Court was based on “concocted charges”. “Under these circumstances, we have no choice but to regard the sentence, if carried out, as an act of pre-meditated murder.”
She said firmly, “Let me state clearly that the government and the people of India would view very seriously the possibility that an innocent Indian citizen is facing death sentence in Pakistan without due process and in violation of basic norms of law, justice and international relations.
I would caution the Pakistan government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter.”
Rajnath Singh condemned Pakistan’s action
Home minister Rajnath Singh earlier said in the Lok Sabha that they will do “everything possible to get justice” for Jadhav.
Rajnath said Jadhav had a small business in Chabahar, Iran. Pakistani security agencies kidnapped him and presented him as an Indian spy. He said as a proof they said Jadhav has an Indian passport. The Union minister asked, “How can he be a spy and carry an Indian passport.”