Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence: India rejects Pakistan's 'farcical' trial

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 13, 2017, 10.54 AM(IST)

Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court. (Image source: Battle Machines, YouTube) Photograph:( Others )

India strongly criticised Pakistan military court's decision to condemn Kulbhushan Jadhav - a man Islamabad believes is an Indian spy who was conducting "subversive activities" - to death on April 10.

Reacting strongly to the death sentence, India said it viewed the "farcical proceedings against Jadhav" as "murder" and that it violated basic norms of "law, justice, and international relations".

"Absence of credible evidence" and the "farcical and an opaque trial in a military court" has underlined that Pakistan flouted the law, India's ministry of external affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said during a media briefing on Thursday (April 13) afternoon.

Baglay also warned that if Jadhav was hanged, it would further deteriorate bilateral relations between the two countries.

The ministry of external affairs spokesperson also said that Pakistan had denied India's 13 requests for consular access to Jadhav over the past one year.

"Pakistan denied consular access demanded by us. Therefore, we are not aware of where he (Jadhav) is being held. And neither has Pakistan shared any specific details with us," Baglay said.


Islamabad also claimed that Jadhav entered its territory with a bogus passport.

Reacting to his claims, the spokesperson said: "We cannot ascertain anything since we did not have any consular access. Which kind of spy keeps an original passport with him so I have my doubts on any allegations of him being a spy. We do not know what are the circumstances of his presence in Pakistan until we meet him. We need to know how he came to be in Pakistan in the first place."

Roughly two hours later, Indian news agency ANI reported that the Indian High Commission in Pakistan would try again to get consular access to Jadhav.

The Kulbhushan Jadhav case is a complex web of international espionage, with Pakistan claiming he was acting on behalf of India's primary foreign intelligence agency in the restive Balochistan province and India repudiating the claims.

India has long maintained -- which was reiterated again in Thursday's media briefing -- that Jadhav is a retired naval officer and an Indian citizen, but has categorically denied he was involved in cloak-and-dagger activities.

But Inter–Services Public Relations (ISPR) — the media wing of Pakistani security forces — say Jadhav was involved in "espionage activities" with an intent to wage a war against Pakistan, according to a Pakistani website, The Nation.

Last year, the government had extensively circulated Jadhav's "video confession", in which he admitted to being a spy working for India's intelligence agency named Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

In the video, Jadhav had said: "I am still a serving officer in the Indian Navy and will be due for retirement in 2022. By 2002, I commenced intelligence operations. In 2003, I established a small business in Chabahar in Iran. As I was able to achieve undetected existence and visits to Karachi in 2003 and 2004 and having done some basic assignments within India for RAW, I was picked up by RAW in 2013."

(WATCH: Jadhav's 'confession'')

Pakistan military said Jadhav has been convicted for "his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan". (WION)