India would regard Kulbhushan Jadhav's death sentence as premeditated murder, if rules flouted: MEA to Pak envoy
Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan in March 2016. The MEA also observed that the Indian High Commission was not informed about Kulbhushan Jadhav being brought to trial in the first place.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) after coming to know about the sentencing of Jadhav, an “Indian citizen”, by a Field General Court Martial of Pakistan Army from a press release, immediately summoned Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit. Basit was handed over a demarche, a diplomatic protest, by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar.
The Foreign Secretary conveyed it to Basit in unequivocal terms: “If this sentence against an Indian citizen, awarded without observing basic norms of law and justice is carried out, the Government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder.”
Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national who was arrested in Balochistan in March 2016, and had been detained there on charges of espionage, was awarded the death sentence today, almost a year later. This was announced on Pakistan military's public relations website Inter Services Public relations (ISPR).
The ISPR statement provided no details about when the verdict of the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) was handed down, or when Kulbhushan Jadhav's trial was held. Following is the press release as issued by ISPR-
Indian RAW Agent / Naval ofﬁcer 41558Z Commander Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel was arrested on March 3, 2016 through a Counter Intelligence Operation from Mashkel, Balochistan, for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan. The spy has been tried through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and awarded death sentence. Today COAS, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has conﬁrmed his death sentence awarded by FGCM.
RAW agent Commander Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav was tried by FGCM under section 59 of Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section 3 of ofﬁcial Secret Act of 1923. FGCM found Kulbushan Sudhir Yadhav guilty of all the charges. He confessed before a Magistrate and the Court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organize espionage / sabotage activities aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi. The accused was provided with defending ofﬁcer as per legal provisions.
TV channels broke the news that Kulbhushan, who was a former Indian navy officer, had confessed to espionage.
The Government of India’s 13 requests through its High Commission in Islamabad to gain consular access to Jadhav has repeatedly been rejected by Paksitan.
Watch video: Kulbhushan Jadhav awarded death sentence in Pakistan
Seven days ago Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz had issued a statement saying that the Pakistan government was not considering to extradite Indian "spy" Kulbhushan Jadhav, who had been arrested for allegedly being involved in "subversive activities". Jadhav was reportedly arrested in Balochistan after entering the country from Iran. (READ HERE)
The Pakistan Army had earlier released a "confessional video" of Jadhav, in which he said he was a serving Indian Navy officer.
In December 2016, Pakistan media had quoted Aziz saying that Islamabad does not have enough or conclusive evidence against Yadav, whom it has accused of being an “Indian spy”. However this was denied by Aziz.
India had acknowledged that Jadhav was a retired Indian Navy officer, but denied that he was in any way connected to the government. “Government has on several occasions completely rejected the baseless allegations against Kulbhushan Jadhav. Circumstances of his presence in Pakistan remain unclear, particularly because we have not been provided consular access despite our repeated requests,” sources in the Ministry of External Affairs had said in March 2016, when Jadhav was detained by Pakistan. (READ HERE)
Advisor to Paksitan’s Prime Minsiter on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has ridiculed India’s request on Jadhav as “lacking in English” and that Islamabad was “overcoming” it. In his address to Pakistan’s senate on December 7 last year, the top diplomat of Pakistan rejected the material provided by India as “insufficient”.
India has in retaliation stopped released of over a dozen Pakistani prisoners that was due this week. (READ HERE)
Major Navdeep Singh, a practicing Advocate in the Punjab & Haryana High Court and the Armed Forces Tribunal called the trial of civilian (retired Naval officer) by a Pakistan military court as violation of Article 14 of International Convention of Civil and Political Rights. “Trial by a sham military court, especially of a civilian, is against Art 14 of International Convention of Civil and Political Rights. Pakistan tries civilians through secret court martial, rather than courts. Spies caught in India are put through trial in regular civil courts. Some even acquitted,” Singh said on the sentencing.
In 2013 an Indian national on death row for spying in Pakistan was killed in jail after being attacked by fellow inmates. Sarabjit Singh had been on death row for 16 years. In fact, Dalbir Kaur, the sister of Sarabjit Singh, has said that India should approach the International Court of Justice and ensure that the death sentence awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistani establishment is not carried out. (READ HERE)
Balochistan, Pakistan's largest but least developed province, has been battling years of separatist insurgency that the army has repeatedly characterised as "terrorism".
(With inputs from agencies)