India Will Go out of Its Way to Bring Jadhav Back: Sushma Swaraj

  • Kulbhushan Jadhav, who Islamabad alleges is an Indian spy, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court
  • EAM Sushma Swaraj said evidence against Kulbhushan is “concocted”
  • HM Rajnath pointed out that Jadhav has a valid visa
  • AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi urged the government to get Jadhav back
  • Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari called the issue controversial
  • Sushma Swaraj denies asking Shashi Tharoor to draft response against Pakistan
  • NSA Ajit Doval has been monitoring developments on Kulbhushan case
  • Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Jadhav has the right to appeal against his death sentence within 60 days

Former home secretary and BJP MP RK Singh, on Tuesday, spoke about the possibility that Kulbhushan Jadhav is already dead.

India Today quoted Singh as saying:

Pakistan must have tortured and murdered Kulbhushan Jadhav and now Pakistan is making all this trial story to cover its sham. If not, then Pakistan must give us consular access.

Speaking to India Today, former RAW chief AS Dulat said:

I’m not saying Kulbhushan is a spy, he could be one.

Pakistan may have tortured and already killed former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, former home secretary and BJP MP RK Singh said on Tuesday, raising doubts that Pakistan’s accusations against Jadhav and his “fair” trial maybe a sham.

NDTV quoted Pakistan Defence Minister as saying Khawaja Asif:

We have followed all the rules, regulations and laws of the land.

Khawaja also said that Jadhav has the right to appeal against his death sentence within 60 days, according to media reports.

Also Read: Pakistan Grants Kulbhushan Jadhav 60 Days to Appeal Death Sentence

NSA Ajit Doval has been monitoring developments on Kulbhushan case, government sources told CNN News 18.

The Pakistani Foreign ministry was clueless about this move by the army, they said.

Speaking to CNN News 18, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that this move indicates a corrupt state machinery.

The civil government knows that its survival depends on appeasing the army.

He said India should drum up global support and bring their notice to Pakistan violating international laws in giving death penalty to Jadhav.

While traditionally India hesitated about internationalising its issues with Pakistan. This particular move challenges international law. Both Vienna and Geneva conventions have been violated in this case. India should address particularly those countries that fill up Pakistani military’s coffers, we should tell them, that Pakistan’s move makes it a rogue state. 

The former Pakistani Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri who is in Delhi for a programme on 'Improving Indo-Pak Relations' did not directly comment on Jadhav’s sentence but said:

Even Pakistanis are being tried by military courts.

Talking about Jadhav’s death sentence, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said his party was opposed to the death penalty on principle, as reported by Dawn.

Bhutto-Zardari also recalled how his maternal grandfather (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) had also been sentenced to death.

The Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s issue is controversial… [He] must not have been here in the first place.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has rubbished reports claiming that she has asked Congress MP Shashi Tharoor to draft a resolution condemning Pakistan on the issue of Kulbhushan Jadhav.

The Minister tweeted:

Non-government Human Rights organisation, Amnesty International says military courts of Pakistan are not reliable.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that there is no evidence of wrongdoing on Jadhav’s part.

Sushma SwarajThis is an act of premeditated murder...I would caution the Pakistani government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter.

She also said that the evidence against Jadhav is insufficient and “concoted” and it is Pakistan’s way of diverting attention of the international community from its “sponsoring of terror”.

She pointed out that, “a senior Pakistani leader has himself expressed doubts about adequacy of claims in this case”.

Swaraj said that the government will go out of its way to save him.

In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, while expressing outrage over the development, said the Indian government should provide Jadhav the best of the lawyers to ensure that the truth prevails.

Responding to this, the External Affairs Minister said the government will not only ensure that Jadhav is provided with the best of lawyers in the Supreme Court of Pakistan but will also take it up with the President of Pakistan.

The government will do everything possible to get justice for Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been handed down death sentence by a Pakistan military court, Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

While condemning the action, Singh said in the Lok Sabha that Pakistan had ignored all norms of law and justice.

The government strongly condemns it. All norms of law and justice were ignored. I want to assure the House that the government will do everything possible to get justice for Jadhav. He will get justice.

Responding to concerns expressed by members cutting across party lines, Singh said Pakistan had told the media there that Jadhav was carrying a valid Indian passport. He wondered why a spy would carry a valid passport. This exposes Pakistan's action, he said.

The Home Minister was also critical of Islamabad's decision to deny New Delhi counsellor access to Jadhav on 13 occasions.

Congress MPs raised the issue of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence in the Lok Sabha.

Barbs were frequently exchanged between treasury and opposition benches on the issue with the latter blaming the government for not taking up the matter strongly.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, “If he is executed, we will consider it premeditated murder. It will be handicap of the government if it cannot save Jadhav.”

Criticising Modi’s visit to Pakistani PM Sharif’s daughter’s wedding in Lahore, he said, "Without an invitation, you can attend a marriage, but you cannot meet him or talk to him on the issue."

AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi urged the government to use its influence and bring Kulbhushan Jadhav back to India.

Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM Pakistan’s military court is a banana court where they have passed a judgement without any evidence. [sic]

Alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav was on Monday sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for espionage and sabotage in Pakistan.

Jadhav was reportedly arrested in Balochistan in 2016 after he entered the country from Iran and was accused by Pakistan of planning “subversive activities” on Pakistani territory.

Speaking to The Quint, Jadhav’s distraught relatives in Mumbai disclosed that “this shocking development” comes two weeks after some of them met key Indian politicians and national security bureaucrats.

Also Read: The Jadhav Episode is a Potential Indo-Pak Peace Deal Killer

The only redressal for Jadhav is to move a mercy petition with the President of Pakistan. India had demanded consular access to Jadhav, but Pakistan repeatedly refused the request.

Also Read: 6 Questions Pakistan Needs to Answer About Kulbhushan Jadhav

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar has summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and has issued a démarche saying proceedings that led to the sentencing of Kulbhushan Jadhav are “farcical”.

In the démarche, MEA said that if basic norms of law and justice are not observed Indian government and people of India will regard it as premeditated murder. It is significant that our High Commission was not even informed that Kulbhushan Jadhav was being brought to trial, the MEA added.

After news of Jadhav’s sentencing broke out, India on Monday stopped the release of a dozen Pakistani prisoners who were supposed to be repatriated on Wednesday.

While former Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, said in an interview to CNN News18 that he did not see anything wrong with Jadhav’s sentencing.

I don’t see an issue here. He was involved in espionage and was tried by the military court and was sentenced. Whenever a person is tried by the military court, it is kept a secret from the media and the people.

  • Jadhav enrolled in the Indian National Defence Academy in 1987 and later joined the Indian Navy
  • After taking premature retirement from the Navy, he set up a business
  • His family currently stays in Mumbai
  • His father Sudhir Jadhav had retired as an Assistant Commissioner of Mumbai Police
  • In 2016, Kulbhushan Jadhav was reportedly arrested by Pakistan at the Iran border near Balochistan

Also Read: 4 Things You Must Know About Kulbhushan Jadhav’s Death Sentence

  • After his arrest, Kulbhushan Jadhav was denied consular access by Pakistan
  • In April 2016, the Pakistani government slapped terrorism and sabotage charges against him
  • In March 2017, the Pakistan PM’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz said that Islamabad won’t extradite Jadhav
  • Jadhav was later tried in secret by the Pakistan Army for espionage and sabotage
  • India was given no prior information about the proceedings
  • Experts say that they fail to understand why Pakistan is in a hurry to hang him and why an open trial was not conducted

Jadhav was tried by the Field General Court Martial under section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act and Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act of 1923, a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations office (ISPR) said.

An official press release issued by the ISPR said:

A “confessional video” was aired by then ISPR head Lt Gen Asim Bajwa wherein Jadhav says he is as an Indian spy who had left the Indian Navy to join R&AW.

Jadhav also says that he was tasked with instigating the Balochistan insurgency. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had debunked these claims and had contended that Jadhav’s alleged video confession was nothing but “tutoring”.

Also Read: Indian ‘Spy’ in Pakistan Charged With Terrorism and Sabotage

Incidentally, the sentencing comes days after a former Pakistani Army officer, Lt Col (Rtd) Mohammad Habib, went missing soon after he landed in the Nepalese town of Lumbini on Thursday, where he was to appear for an interview.

Habib’s family has told police that he may have been kidnapped by "enemy spy agencies", an apparent reference to Indian intelligence agencies.

Saad Habib, the son of the missing officer, in an FIR lodged with Rawat police station near Rawalpindi, said that his father was received by one Javed Ansari in Nepal who took him to Lumbini, which is close to the Indian border.

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