World Bulletin / News Desk
A military court on Monday sentenced an Indian “spy” to death -- threatening further divisions between Pakistan and India amid already heightened tensions.
Kulbhushan Jadhav, who the court heard was a serving officer in the Indian Navy, had been allegedly involved in carrying out espionage and sabotage in Pakistan’s Karachi city and Balochistan province.
“The spy has been tried through field general court martial under the Pakistan Army Act and awarded the death sentence,” the military’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
No date has been set for his execution, which would be by hanging.
Jadhav was arrested in March last year in Mashkel, a town a few kilometers (miles) from the Iranian border. According to the military, he was using the Muslim name Hussein Mubarak Patel.
Officials accuse Jadhav of running a spy network for India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency from the Iranian port of Chabahar.
The military said he had confessed before the court to having been tasked 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.”
ISPR head Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa earlier said Jadhav had aimed to disrupt the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, particularly the Gwadar port in Balochistan.
“This is nothing short of state-sponsored terrorism,” he added. “There can be no clearer evidence of Indian interference in Pakistan.”
Weeks after Jadhav’s arrest, New Delhi denied any ties to him and described him as a retired naval officer.
Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said the death penalty is in accordance with Pakistan’s law. Local Geo television quoted Aziz as saying that it is premature to say when exactly the convict would be executed.
India slams sentence
India on Monday said if the sentence against its citizen Jadhav is carried out then it will be regarded as “a case of premeditated murder”.
Indian foreign secretary summoned the Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and handed over a demarche.
“The proceedings that have led to the sentence against Jadhav are farcical in the absence of any credible evidence against him.
“It is significant that our High Commission was not even informed that Jadhav was being brought to trial. Senior Pakistani figures have themselves cast doubt about the adequacy of evidence.
“The claim in the ISPR release that Jadhav was provided with a defending officer during the so-called trial is clearly absurd in the circumstances,” an official Indian statement said.
According to Indian officials, Jadhav was “kidnapped last year from Iran” and his subsequent presence in Pakistan was never explained credibly.
The Indian government through its High Commission in Islamabad, has repeatedly sought consular access to him, as provided by international law. Requests to that effect were formally made 13 times between March 25, 2016, and March 31, 2017, but Pakistani authorities did not permit it.
India has also put on hold the release of several Pakistani prisoners, scheduled for Wednesday, External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
Tensions between the two nuclear neighbors have risen since 19 Indian soldiers were killed in Jammu Kashmir in September. India accused the killers of having ties to Pakistan.Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Nisan 2017, 19:41