New Delhi, April 11: Slamming the Pakistan authorities over the death sentence awarded to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, former Union minister of finance P. Chidambaram on Tuesday said that it is a kangaroo trial, a mockery and a sham. Chidambaram commenting in the issue also said that military court has no jurisdiction over foreign nationals. The former minister’s comments follow the decision of a Pakistan military court which has sentenced Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav to death on Monday alleging espionage and sabotage charges.
The former finance minister and present Member of Parliament also urged the Indian government to ask Pakistan to safely return Jadhav who was sentenced to death on Monday, more than a year later he was allegedly picked up by Pakistan.
As per Pakistan media sources, Kulbhushan Jadhav was tried through the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under Pakistan Army Act (PAA). He was charged with espionage and of being involved in ‘subversive activities’. However, the Pakistan authorities have not been able to produce any concrete piece of evidence of Jadhav’s involvement in any terror attack on Pakistani soil. The only public document presented by them is an alleged confession by Jadhav where in he accepts the fact that he is indeed an Indian agent.
Jadhav who is an ex-naval officer, after his premature retirement started his own business in Iran. He joined the National Defence Academy(NDA) in 1987 and then joined the Indian navy in 1991. Although Indian authorities have accepted that bit, but has refused to acknowledge him as an agent of Research and Analytical Wing (RAW), as Pakistan claims.
Following the news of Jadhav’s sentence, Amnesty International condemned the death sentence and said it is a travesty of justice. In a similar note, Indian authorities have claimed that if Pakistan goes ahead with the sentence, it will be case of ‘pre-meditated murder’.
In all of this, P. Chidambaram’s comment seems to be in tune with the others who have come forward in support of Jadhav and against the judgement of the military court of Pakistan. The important question that remains is since now the issue is one with possible diplomatic implications, will Pakistan come under pressure and change the sentence and give proper trial to Jadhav, or will go ahead with the sentence and strain the relations with India, again.