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Kulbhushan Jadhav sentenced to death

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Judiciary is non-existent in Pakistan and Kulbhushan Jadhav's death sentence on charges of espionage on their shores does not come as a surprise. The military courts which are shut for public scrutiny function like dictatorship and no mercy can be expected from our enemy nation on Jadhav's sentencing. Kulbhushan Jadhas been made a scapegoat in the tension between two nations and mercy petitions or diplomatic channels won't save Jadhav from the gallows. The case of Kulbhushan Jadhav should be taken to international courts. India should ask countries like United States and some of the Gulf countries with who we have cordial relations to put pressure on Pakistan to give Jadhav a fair trial in the international tribunal so that he can prove his innocence. Indian should retaliate against Pakistan to teach them a lesson if other avenues to save Kulbhushan Jadhav fails!

— S.N. Kabra, Goregaon

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Pakistan has sentenced Kulbhushan Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer who was arrested by the country in 2016, to death after convicting him of conducting “subversive activities” for the Indian government. He was sentenced by a Pakistani military court. Jadhav was arrested in a Pakistani counter-intelligence operation in Balochistan in March 2016. But there are still plenty of loose ends in the story leading up to this sentence. In December 2016, Pakistani Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, was quoted as saying that the government was presented with “insufficient evidence” on Jadhav. He had said that the dossier received by the government had only statements and there was no conclusive evidence against him. About the public confession by Jadhav: Pakistan claims that Jadhav is a high-ranking spy or at least a very experienced one because that’s what makes this arrest special, which is bogus. Why would a high-ranking spy make a willing confession about his espionage activities to an enemy state, especially when the two countries involved are India and Pakistan with their intractable hostilities. The punishment for espionage is bound to be life imprisonment or death, as in this case. No high-ranking spy would be unaware of this fact. Coming back to the fact that Pakistan claims Jadhav is a high-ranking Indian spy; Which experienced spy would be caught in a target country with his or her nation’s passport? And that too, an Indian passport with a false Muslim name?Why would an Indian spy go to Pakistan without Pakistani documentation? What experienced spy makes such a rookie mistake? There’s also no proof of Jadhav’s arrest having taken place in Balochistan. The Indian government says that Jadhav could have been arrested because he accidentally strayed into Pakistani waters. Every year, both India and Pakistan arrest many civilians from both sides who accidentally cross the border or stray into the other’s territorial waters. Finally, if there is as much evidence against Jadhav as Pakistan claims, then why was his trial a hush-hush military court affair? A high-profile spying case that played out in a court of law and received plenty of media attention would have served two purposes. It would have scored some major points for the Nawaz Sharif government domestically while discrediting India internationally. Second, as more of this evidence became public, India’s claims that Jadhav isn’t a spy would be easily debunked. So, as Jadhav now faces a death sentence, where are the answers to these questions, Pakistan? It is high time the Indian government must intervene in this serious matter and save Jadhav from the gallows.

— Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai

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