Death verdict for spy has India seething

Published: April 12, 2017
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Express News screengrab of alleged documents of the 'RAW officer'

Express News screengrab of alleged documents of the 'RAW officer'

NEW DELHI: India was seething with anger on Tuesday at the conviction of its self-confessed spy in Pakistan, with Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj warning Islamabad of ‘dire consequences’ for bilateral relations if it went ahead with the execution of what she called an ‘innocent man’.

Dimissing India’s blistering reaction, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that “due process of law had been followed while awarding the death sentence” to Kulbhushan Jadhav, an agent of India’s top intelligence agency, RAW, who was arrested in March 2016 in Balochistan on charges of spying and feulling terrorism in Pakistan.

Jadhav – who has already made a video confession of his crimes – was sentenced to death and the verdict was confirmed by army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday. “The spy was tried through Field General Court Martial under the Pakistan Army Act and awarded the death sentence,” the military said in a statement.

Self-confessed Indian spy awarded death sentence

Swaraj didn’t mince her words while making a statement in both houses of Indian parliament on what the Indian media called a “highly emotive issue that has inflamed passions in India”. “The government and people of India would view very seriously the possibility that an innocent Indian citizen is facing the death sentence in Pakistan without due process and in violation of basic norms of law, justice and international relations,” she said.

She added that the Indian government “will go out of the way to save him [Jadhav]”. “I would caution the Pakistan government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter.”

She reiterated India’s stand that Jadhav has been framed under false charges, and added that Pakistan was doing all that to divert global attention from its activities of sponsoring terrorism in India. “There is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Kulbhushan Jadhav… We have no choice but to regard this sentence if carried out as an act of premeditated murder,” she claimed.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, appealed to the government to appoint a strong lawyer who can fight Jadhav’s case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. “This is a matter of the entire nation. I appeal to the government to appoint a competent lawyer to fight his case in Pakistan’s Supreme Court, so that his case is won in the apex court,” said Azad.

The external affairs minister assured the house that the government would appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan and would petition the president of the country to save “the son of the nation”. “Not just the Supreme Court… We will do everything possible to save him. Appealing in the Supreme Court or appointing a lawyer for him is a very small thing. We will even approach the president of Pakistan to save him,” said Sushma.

Kulbhushan Jadhav will not be extradited, Sartaj assures lawmakers

Defence Minister A K Antony termed the issue ‘very serious’ and said India “must convey it to Pakistan in the strongest terms”. He went much beyond than what Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had said a day ago in a demarche to Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit.

The Pakistan government sought “India’s assistance to obtain evidence and other materials for the investigation process” but to no avail. Both Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Jadhav.

However, Pakistan’s defence minister defended Jadhav’s conviction, saying that “due process of law had been followed while awarding the death sentence to the Indian spy”.

While addresing federal lawmakers in the upper house of parliament, Khawaja Asif refuting the Indian claims that the sentence was a premeditated murder. “The actions of Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir, Gujarat and in the case of Samjhota Express amount to ‘premeditated murder’,” he added.

“The law of the land is applied and the trial went on for three months,” Asif said, adding that under the law, an appellate tribunal can be moved against the sentence. “In the next stages, appeals can be filed with the army chief and the president of Pakistan.”

His comments were seconded by Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani who remarked that Pakistan has followed the due process of law in Jadhav’s case. “Had similar case happened in India, it would not have followed the due process of law” he added.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • Hasan
    Apr 12, 2017 - 9:15AM

    Indians – be it politicians, sportsmen & even artists have been doing vicious and planned propaganda against Pakistan since years.

    It’s high time Pakistan adopts a ZERO TOLERANCE for Indian propaganda and terrorism on Pakistani soil.

    We are a peaceful, progressive nation; unlike a cultural human rights disaster a.k.a the cast system of India resulting in gross human rights violations there. Go clean up your act first before meddling in other peoples business.

    Respect is earned not given.Recommend

  • bryan
    Apr 12, 2017 - 9:41AM

    How much time and effort will it take India to slap espionage charges on one of your visiting artists or visiting friends and relatives people. The same can be done in the future to Pak as well.
    That time the news will have the same title except the country name.Recommend

  • Muneer
    Apr 12, 2017 - 9:50AM

    @Hasan: Absolutely correct.Recommend

  • WAQAS
    Apr 12, 2017 - 9:59AM

    So many Indian citizen visited Pakistan and so many still on visit but how many charged espionage charges these is a strong case behind #Yadav

    STOP DOING WRONG PROPAGANDA Recommend

  • Muneer
    Apr 12, 2017 - 10:21AM

    Indian official reaction,reaction of Ministers and some MPs on Kulbushahn issue indicate a psychologically brittle mindset.Recommend

  • an Indian
    Apr 12, 2017 - 10:44AM

    Dear Pakistani Readers-

    Look at your condition first before commenting over the Indian state. The condition of living in pakistan is pathetic, there’s no freedom of expression/ speech, there’s no development. India has developed ages since partition. Look how the US got Laden from the pakistan army ground. Look at how badly you’re facing terrorism at your homeland. No country wants to play cricket in your land. No international business wants to set up industries there. Leave aside the tension between our countries.. where is the “progressiveness, peacefulness”. Name one pakistani brand that has made it on global platform.
    What happen
    Yes I agree and respect pakistani artists who have made it big. Yes, bollywood, and BCCI has made some revenue with support form your countrymen. But what after that? Look at your education policies, development policies, foreign policies. Where is parvez musharraf? He’s scared to come back to his own homeland.
    I fail to understand how do you even put your case strong? Where does your courage comes from?
    Aside, which country in the history has given life sentence to a foreign national for espionage? Leave aside Kulbhushan’s case. You couldnt keep Sarabjeet alive in your own jail. The fellow prisoners killed him! – this is the state of pakistan. Recommend

  • Parth Choudhary
    Apr 12, 2017 - 10:45AM

    @Hasan:
    Yes Pakistan is most peaceful nation the world … that is the reason Mr OSAMA was found on your backyard Recommend

  • Gemini
    Apr 12, 2017 - 11:14AM

    At least show his death penalty publicly, so we can send a good message to our neighbors.Recommend

  • Anz
    Apr 12, 2017 - 11:36AM

    @Gemini: Death according to ShariaRecommend

  • Anz
    Apr 12, 2017 - 11:37AM

    @Gemini: shame on you for such barbaric thiughts.Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Apr 12, 2017 - 11:51AM

    @WAQAS:
    Whats the case apart from the forced confession? if you have one why not be transparent about it. The game can be played both ways. There are more Pakistanis visiting India than the opposite. Maybe India can stop giving medical visas to Pakistanis for a start.Recommend

  • Gruham
    Apr 12, 2017 - 11:55AM

    Pakistan must have already tortured and killed this Indian whom they call a spy. To legitimatize this murder, the Army is talking of a farcical court martial and death sentence. Even if they claim in future that the sentence was carried out and he was hanged or shot or whatever….his body will never be given back to India….nor will there be a honorable funeral done by the Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Hasan
    Apr 12, 2017 - 12:34PM

    And speaking of Indian Propaganda, there should be no Cricket Matches with India. No self-respeting Pakistani artist should go to make films in india. I would like for artists likw Fawad Khan to shun & denounve any further work or asdociation with India. We would be very proud of him.

    It’s time Pakistan adopted a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY for Indian propaganda. Recommend

  • Muneer
    Apr 12, 2017 - 1:04PM

    @an Indian: Totally wrong assessment.Pakistan and its people are one of the most free nation in the world.As for life sentence or death on espionage charges world history including that of developed world is full of that.Recommend

  • sanjay
    Apr 12, 2017 - 1:10PM

    @Hasan: I think an apt response by India will be to totally sever our diplomatic ties with Pakistan and seal the borders. Totally deny visas to Pakistanis even if it is for medical purposes.Recommend

  • Albert Savio
    Apr 12, 2017 - 2:00PM

    If Jadhav is killed there will be a massive response – no doubt about that. India is not longer run by Manmohan Singh and Advani – who were born in areas which now fall in Pakistan and they adopted a soft line towards Pakistan. Key heads will roll in Pakistan – the price will be very heavy and yes Balochistan will be freed along with Sindh (It may take few years but Insha Allah it will happen as the time has come) Recommend

  • cautious
    Apr 12, 2017 - 2:10PM

    Can you recall the last time you read an article where anybody executed someone for espionage? Everyone has spy’s and they get caught, jailed, traded etc .. but NOBODY executes spy’s anymore. Heck – Pakistani got caught less than two weeks ago spying on behalf of Iran in Germany …. anyone think he’s going to be executed?Recommend

  • an Indian
    Apr 12, 2017 - 2:19PM

    @Muneer:
    If Pakistan and its people are one of the most free nation in the world- then why isnt it able to host its most popular game(cricket) on its land? Why doesnt any other nation wants to come there and play hockey, kabaddi, etc- which are popular in pak?
    If pak is most free- why is there no international industry set up? be it IT, FMCG, Electronics, etc.

    Check the international espionage case history. NO NATION HAS EVER AWARDED DEATH PENALTY TO A FOREIGN NATIONAL. They have either been exchanged in ‘exchange of spies’ or been awarded life time imprisonment (like awared to sarabjeet singh).

    Just compare the 2 nations- India and Pakistan- who started developing together. Look how Indians are looked upon globally and compare that with Pakistan’s case. You’ll understand what I’m trying to say.Recommend

  • Nepin
    Apr 12, 2017 - 2:26PM

    @an Indian: AND YET…Recommend

  • Faisal
    Apr 12, 2017 - 4:07PM

    “no evidence” says the Indian govt?? Then why was an Indian hindu travelling under the name Hussain Mubarak Patel??? Fake name Indian passport was issued by the same Indian govt.!
    How are Indians to threaten us with “dire consequences”. We aren’t afraid of the state sponsored terrorism India has been engaging in for decades now. Recommend

  • Faisal
    Apr 12, 2017 - 4:11PM

    @Hasan:
    why was he travelling with an Indian passport with the fake name Hussain Mubarak Patel?
    Do all Indians travel with a Hindu passport name and a Muslim passport name??Recommend

  • Muneer
    Apr 12, 2017 - 6:42PM

    @an Indian: Many spies including Germans/ other nationals have been executed by hanging by U.K. before they abolished death sentence.Same is true for other European countries.As regards Kulbushahn,he is accused/ convicted of espionage,sabotage and for terrorist activities( organizing,planning,execution and managing) in Karachi,Balochistan areas etc.There have been many casualties/ destruction of property due to those terrorists activities.He is both a spy and terrorist. Carrying out terrorism in Pakistan was one of his tasks besides espionage etc.Details are also in dossiers given to the UN and other countries.It is because of these foreign countries sponsored terrorist activities that some international teams are reluctant to play in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Shah
    Apr 12, 2017 - 7:14PM

    @an Indian: We know you have become supermen, but mentally you Hindus are still not able to come out of the gutters; Okay, let now Hindus-tan openly accept that he is active Navy, working for RAW, and that he is a RAW Spy Agent and sent into Pakistan to conduct Terrorist activities killing many many innocent people, women and children; Once Hindus-tan does this, then maybe this killer can be sent back to your country; As you said, spies and other killers are exchanged; then let us have in exchange your terrorist Col Purohit and terrorist Aseemanand; Just let your government offer this for exchange and we will see what we can do to release this killer terrorist; Recommend

  • Shah
    Apr 12, 2017 - 7:22PM

    @bryan: We know you Hindus are liars, cheats, cunning, conniving SOBs; Calling artists and then scheming to slap espionage charges; See, this is what we know about you Hindus; Recommend

  • Shah
    Apr 12, 2017 - 7:25PM

    You Hindus are advised to Stop issuing threats; We also know you Hindus cannot do anything else; We know you dont have the juice, guts, courage to do anything; Your Hindus-tani armed forces are fully well aware and know what limitations they have and what they cannot do; Recommend

  • Last Man Alive
    Apr 12, 2017 - 9:38PM

    He is a spy and terrorist.

    He should be hanged to death asap.Recommend

  • Sajid Ansari
    Apr 17, 2017 - 1:04PM

    @an Indian:
    Dear “An Indian”,

    Better ask the indians have been visiting Pakistan over the years and they still want to revisit, Why..?
    Ask the hundreds of and thousands of Sikh pilgrims who visit each year and come back the next year, Why…?

    All these allegations are in your imagination and the product of biased mentality of Indians like you and nothing else.Recommend

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