NEW DELHI: Cautioning Pakistan of consequences in bilateral relationship, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that India will go out of the way to save Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been awarded death sentence by Pakistan in an alleged espionage case.
With both government and opposition leaders raising serious concerns over the death sentence to Jadhav, Swaraj making a statement in Rajya Sabha said that there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Jadhav.
“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. Under these circumstances, we have no choice but to regard the sentence, if carried out, as an act of pre-meditated murder,” she said in the house.
The minister said that the Government and 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,” she said.
Apprising to the house about the facts in the case, Swaraj said Jadhav was doing business in Iran and was kidnapped and taken to Pakistan but the exact circumstances are unclear and can only be ascertained if we have consular access to him.
“From the time his abduction was known, our High Commission in Islamabad has continuously pressed Pakistani authorities for such access. Although this is provided for by international law and is deemed a norm in international relations, the Government of Pakistan did not permit it. That itself should tell us much about the strength of the case against Jadhav,” the minister further said.
Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the government must provide legal aid and nest of the lawyers so that facts are put strongly before the Supreme Court.
Swaraj assured the house that Jadhav is the son of India and government will go out of way to do anything for his release.
“Filing an appeal in the court, hiring a good lawyer are small things, the government will even talk to Pakistan President to save him,” said Swaraj as both sides thumped.
Union Minister for Home Affairs slammed Pakistan for ignoring “all norms of law and justice”, after members cutting across party lines condemned death sentence to an Indian citizen Kulbhushan Jadhav. The minister assured the House that the government will do everything possible to ensure justice for Jadhav.
Stating that Jadhav will get justice, Singh asserted that the government condemns the death sentence.
The Lok Sabha adopted a resolution condemning Pakistan for disregarding the rule of law. Incidentally, the issue witnessed a bipartisan House, with Swaraj soliciting the help of the Congress MP Shashi Tharoor to draft the resolution.
The anger among the lawmakers was on display, as MPs demanded strong measures from the government in response to the Pakistani provocation. The BJP MP and former Home secretary RK Singh argued that India should resort to the policy of strict reciprocity with Pakistan.
He stated that scores of Pakistani spies are arrested every month. “There are many such Pakistanis who, while carrying out terror activities, are arrested by the security agencies. If the policy of strict reciprocity is enforced, all of them will hang,” added Singh.