Delhi warns Islamabad after ‘spy’ awarded death

NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD: India on Monday issued a stern warning after Pakistan sentenced to death an Indian ‘spy’ caught last year on charges of espionage and waging war against Islamabad.
The Indian External Affairs Ministry said Kulbhushan Jadhav, whose family lives in Mumbai, was sentenced “without observing basic norms of law and justice” and if he was hanged, it would be “premeditated murder”.
Pakistan said earlier that a Field General Court Martial awarded the capital punishment and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had confirmed it.
A Pakistani statement described Jadhav, who allegedly used the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, as an Indian Naval officer attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016, reportedly in Balochistan, for “involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan”.
“He confessed before a Magistrate and the court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage, sabotage activities aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of law enforcement agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi,” the statement said.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar handed Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit a demarche warning that if Jadhav was hanged, “the government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder”.
It accused Islamabad of abducting Jadhav from Iran and “his subsequent presence in Pakistan has never been explained credibly”.
It said the Indian High Commission in Islamabad sought consular access to Jadhav 13 times between March 25, 2016 and March 31, 2017 but was not given permission to meet him.
“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.