Pakistan justifies death sentence to Indian 'spy'

Indo Asian News Service

Islamabad, April 11 (IANS) Pakistan on Tuesday justified the death sentence awarded to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and said it was capable of protecting itself against external threats.

Pakistan was "fully equipped" to deal with all such "elements with an iron fist", Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told the Senate.

And in an obvious reference to Indian warnings of consequences if Jadhav was hanged, he added: "We will defend our country at all costs."

Asif insisted that the trial of Jadhav, accused of espionage and waging war against Pakistan, followed due legal process.

"There was nothing in the (legal) proceedings that was against the law," he was quoted by the Urdu media as saying.

"The trial went on for three months," he said, adding that Pakistan would not grant concessions to elements working against the country.

India has warned Pakistan that bilateral ties would be hit if it went ahead with the death sentence awarded to Jadhav, who Islamabad says was arrested in Balochistan in March 2016.

India denies he was a spy and says he was abducted from Iran.

On Tuesday, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reiterated that if Jadhav was hanged, it would amount to premeditated murder.

--IANS

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