Pakistan military court sentences 'spy' Kulbhushan Jadhav to death, India calls it a 'farce'
Kulbhushan Jadhav has been accused of spying by Pakistan. Photograph: (Agencies)
Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested by Pakistan on allegations of spying, has been awarded death sentence by a military court, Pak media reported quoting Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military's media wing.
He was sentenced to death for "his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan", the military said.
"The spy has been tried through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under Pakistan Army Act and awarded death sentence," the military's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed his death sentence, the statement added.
Even as the news spread, the Ministery of External Affairs(MEA) in India summoned Abdul Basit, the Pakistan High Commissioner & issued a demarche saying proceedings that led to the sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav were "farcical".
"If basic norms of law and justice are not observed then the government and people of India will regard it as premeditated murder," MEA said in the demarche.
"It is significant that our High Commission was not even informed that Kulbhushan Jadhav was being brought to trial," the statement added.
Pakistan claims its security forces had arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. It also claimed that he was "a serving officer in the Indian Navy".
The Pakistan Army had also released a "confessional video" of Jadhav. India had demanded Consular access to Jadhav, but Pakistan repeatedly denied it. The ISPR statement, however, said Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel was "provided with defending officer as per legal provisions".
Jadhav reportedly entered Pakistan's Balochistan from Iran. He was arrested by Pakistan security officials on March 3 last year on allegations of planning subversive activities in the country.
India has acknowledged that he was a retired Indian Navy officer but refuted the allegations that he is connected to the government in any way.
In 2013, an Indian national, Sarabjit, was brutally killed by fellow inmates in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail. He was sentenced to death in 1991 for his alleged involvement in a string of bombings in Pakistan.
Anything is possible in Pak, after all they've hanged one of their Prime Ministers in past: AS Dulat, former RAW Chief on Kulbhushan Jadhav pic.twitter.com/vtZuALDeKs— ANI (@ANI_news) April 10, 2017
(WION with inputs from PTI)