Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav was handed the death sentence by a Pakistani military court on Monday for alleged espionage and indulging in sabotage against Pakistan.
Though little proof of Yadav’s alleged activities has been provided by Islamabad so far beyond a “confessional video” and his trial was conducted in secret, the Pakistani media had long been referring to Jadhav as an “Indian spy”.
In keeping with this practice, on Monday, after news of the sentencing broke, Dawn reported that the “spy” had “confessed” his crimes.
Jadhav confessed before the court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise subversive activities in Karachi, Balochistan.
Most news reports on the websites of Pakistani newspapers were accompanied by Jadhav’s “confessional video”, which India had earlier called “tutored”.
Jadhav’s ‘Link’ to Balochistan Unrest, Terrorism
Another running theme in the Pakistani media’s coverage was Jadhav’s alleged role in fanning unrest in Balochistan. Besides, Indian spy agency RAW was held repsonsible for the spurt in terror activities in Pakistan. The Express Tribune said:
The recent surge in terrorist attacks in the country has also brought the India intelligence agencies’ role in backing the terrorism in Pakistan to the spotlight.
The daily added that India is trying to “undermine” the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The Tit-for-Tat Theory
Rana Jawwad, Director of Geo News, said Jadhav’s sentencing could be seen on the backdrop of the recent disappearance of a retired Pakistani military officer in Nepal, adding that “there is a possibility of an escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan”.
Other media reports too acknowledged that the move could worsen the already icy relations between the two neighbours.
The country’s politicians, meanwhile, were quoted as supporting the death penalty owing to Jadhav’s “involvement” in fanning political unrest and terror. Dawn quoted Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti as saying:
There are foreign elements involved in terrorist activities in Balochistan. I believe this is a good decision.
In another report, on experts’ take on the development, Dawn quoted Hamid Mir, a senior journalist with Geo News, as urging Pakistan to share the evidence with India, and urging India to hold its silence as Pakistan did when 26/11 accused Ajmal Kasab was sentenced to death.
First of all, Pakistan should make the evidence found against the spy public, share it with the country and also internationally.