KULBHUSHAN JADHAV CASE: BEATEN IN ROUND ONE, PAK LAWYER KHAWAR QURESHI NOW BLAMES INDIAN GOVT FOR RUMOUR AROUND HIS FEE

The article originally appeared on India Today.

According to a Geo News report, Khawar Qureshi, the lawyer representing Pakistan at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), has blamed the Indian government for the ‘baseless propaganda’ surrounding the case fee he charged, something that became a rallying point for many on the social media to poke fun at him. What exacerbated his misery was the obvious comparison with Harish Salve, the Indian counsel in the case, who took just Re 1 as his court fee, a symbolism of his commitment to his motherland.

The lawyer, who has been blamed by many experts and politicians in Pakistan for not preparing well for the case and leaving many loopholes in his arguments, told Geo News that “references to his fees were complete lies fabricated by Indian Twitterati and Indian nationals behind such baseless propaganda may have government backing”.

The ICJ decision yesterday, staying execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan till the case was underway in the UN court, saw a rush of tweets on how a highly paid but ill-prepared Pak lawyer could not stand the legal wisdom of Harish Salve who charged just Re 1. The speculation on Twitter about his fees was largely based on media reports from Pakistan that quoted his fees for the case at around 5,00,000 British Pound, i.e., a whopping 7 crore in Pak currency and around 4.25 crore in Indian currency.

So, even if Qureshi says that “his fees were not even 10 per cent of what the Indian propaganda suggests” and even if he justifies the amount he charged by saying he “cancelled another professional commitment with another government to travel to Pakistan urgently”, he would always find it difficult to justify even this reduced gap, i.e., at 10 per cent of the claims being made, between Harish Salve’s Re 1 winning gesture to his Rs. 42.5 lakh case fee, especially when he wasted 40 minutes of the 90 minutes given to his team to present its side of the arguments. To add to Qureshi’s misery, Indian team under the leadership of Salve used its full 90 minutes.

Qureshi might have given “a 30 per cent reduction on his fees, besides covering the cost of two of his juniors’ fees”, as he claims, the bottom line is, he is being slammed in Pakistan for mishandling the case and his high fees, even at 30 per cent discount, is not giving him any room to breathe easy because Pakistan has made Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case a prestige issue and the yesterday debacle saw a mourning like atmosphere there.

It is true that the ICJ has given only an interim stay of Jadhav’s execution and Pakistan and Qureshi say they have enough evidence to prove their case in the course of hearing, the truth of the moment is, India has scored a clear diplomatic victory over Pakistan and a moral boost for further case proceedings at the ICJ.

Earlier in the day, a news came from Pakistan that it was going to have a new legal team for the case, but now Pakistan has filed a plea in the ICJ to rehear the case within six weeks with reports saying that Qureshi will continue to represent Pakistan. So, now that Qureshi is going to remain there, he has now the opportunity to silence his critics, both on his legal acumen in the case and on his exorbitant fee. Let’s see if he can match Harish Salve.

©SantoshChaubey

PAKISTAN PM NAWAZ SHARIF FEELS THE HEAT AS OPPOSITION SLAMS GOVT FOR MISHANDLING JADHAV’S CASE AT ICJ

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here is it bit modified and extended.

Though Pakistan is trying to put up a defiant face in the wake of the adverse ruling by the International Court of Justice that has stayed Kulbhushan Jadhav’s hanging till it reaches to a conclusion, its opposition has started slamming Nawaz Sharif and his government for mishandling the situation that has led Pakistan to this humiliation. The ICJ has directed Pakistan to “take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings”.

Though based on fallacious premises that the Pak legal team at the ICJ was ill-prepared or couldn’t get time to prepare, whereas it is amply clear with today’s observations by the ICJ that Pakistan’s arguments had no legal viability, the opposition in Pakistan is training its guns on Nawaz Sharif and is asking him to reply to the nation on the fiasco.

According to a Dunya News report, main opposition parties of Pakistan, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), have sought Sharif’s reply as well as have demanded him to urgently convene a National Security Committee (NSC) meeting.

PPP’s Sherry Rehman, a former foreign minister of Pakistan, has blamed the Sharif government of ignoring a ‘case pertaining to national security’ as his government ‘government remained stuck in Panama Leaks SC case’.

PTI has blamed the Sharif government of working for vested interests and hidden motives that ultimately proved so damaging. PTI’s chief Imran Khan has said that “the nation demands Sharif family disclose all its financial interests/assets abroad especially with Jindal in India and that “Pakistan cannot afford to have its security jeopardised by the Sharifs’ financial interests abroad”.

This is another line of thought in Pakistan that the Sharif government colluded with the Narendra Modi’s government of India to let it happen as Jadhav was sentenced to death by its military court bypassing the concerns of its civilian establishment which initially believed that the case against Jadhav was based on mere statements and more evidence was needed, as Nawaz Sharif’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz had informed the Pak Senate in December 2016. Visit of Indian businessman Sajjan Jindal, who is a common friend of Sharif and Modi and is seen as an interlocutor between the two PMs, to Nawaz Sharif’s personal house last month has only added to this line of thought.

India had approached the ICJ on May 8 and the UN’s judicial arm had agreed to conduct a public hearing of the matter on May 15 staying Jadhav’s hanging till further orders. After the May 15 hearing, the court read out it order yesterday that accepted India’s arguments and prayers and put an interim stay on Jadhav’s death sentence till a final conclusion. Though Pakistan has said that the ICJ has no jurisdiction in the matter and the ruling has not changed Pakistan’s position on Jadhav’s sentence, the ICJ ruling is being seen as an Indian victory and Pakistan’s humiliation in the diplomatic circles.

KULBHUSHAN JADHAV’S CASE

On April 10, a Pak military sentenced Kulbhushan Jadhav to death after convicting him for espionage and sabotage activities in Pakistan. Pakistan claims Jadhav, who allegedly used the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel in Pakistan, was attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Pakistan arrested Jadhav in March 2016.

The Indian government has maintained that Kulbhushan Jadhav is a former Indian Naval officer turned businessman who was on a routine business trip to Iran when he was abducted by Pakistani intelligence. Reports say he was captured by the Taliban and later sold to the Pakistan Army. India repeatedly demanded consular access to Jadhav but Pakistan always denied it, a point that the ICJ highlighted in its ruling yesterday. The ICJ clearly said that Pakistan had committed a mistake by doing so.

India has also said that Jadhav is innocent and there is no evidence against him and that Pakistsan carried out a sham, secret trial in a military court where no information on charges and evidence was given. India has warned Pakistan of ‘dire consequences’ equalling Jadhav’s death sentence with pre-meditated murder and has time and again asked for the consular access to him.

©SantoshChaubey

KULBHUSHAN JADHAV DEATH SENTENCE: PAKISTAN TO OVERRULE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE’S ORDER

The article originally appeared on India Today.

According to a Dunya News report, Pakistan is going to deny the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Kulbhushan Jadhav case, an Indian national whom Pakistan has sentenced to death alleging of espionage and sabotage in Pakistan. The Dunya News report said “Attorney General of Pakistan was reportedly briefed on Friday over Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s issue and according to the sources, Pakistan is to deny jurisdiction of International Court of Justice (ICJ) to over cases that have Pakistan’s national stability at stake.”

According to the report, the briefing states that “Pakistan does not accept international court’s jurisdiction to order the state in issue that involves its national stability.”

In another report of Daily Pakistan, “Pakistan revised its commitment to the ICJ and had withdrawn all domestic and national security related issues from the jurisdiction of the court on March 29, thus making it impossible for Modi led India to pin down Pakistan in this case.”

The Daily Pakistan report further states that Pakistan, before handing over death sentence to Jadhav, had informed the ICJ about changes it made though its UN envoy Maleeha Lodhi. “Disputes relating to or connected with any aspect of hostilities, armed conflicts, individual or collective self-defence or the discharge of any functions pursuant to any decision or recommendation of international bodies, the deployment of armed forces abroad, as well as action relating and ancillary thereto in which Pakistan is, has been or may in future be involved”, the declaration by Pakistan read.

India had approached the International Court of Justice on May 8 with its plea which requested the UN judicial body to stay Jadhav’s execution till it hears the matter and reaches to any conclusion. India in its plea had accused Pakistan of “egregious violations” of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR). Both India and Pakistan are signatory to VCCR. India had requested for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav 16 times but Pakistan denied it every time. But according to the Daily Pakistan report, the Vienna Convention cannot help India as it applies to diplomats and not spies.

After India’s application, the ICJ, using its powers under the ‘Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes of 24 April 1963’ had stayed Jadhav’s execution and had issued notice to Pakistan. The public hearing in the case by the ICJ would be held on May 15.

THE KULBHUSHAN JADHAV DEATH SENTENCE

On April 10, the Pakistan Army chief confirmed Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence, which was handed down by a Pakistani military court that held Jadhav guilty of espionage. Pakistan claims Jadhav, who allegedly used the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel in Pakistan, was attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Pakistan arrested Jadhav in March 2016.

The Indian government has maintained that Kulbhushan Jadhav is a formal Indian Naval officer turned businessman who was on a routine business trip to Iran when he was abducted by Pakistani intelligence. Reports say he was captured by the Taliban and later sold to the Pakistan Army.

India has also said that Jadhav is innocent and there is no evidence against him and that Pakistsan carried out a sham, secret trial in a military court where no information on charges and evidence was given. India has warned Pakistan of ‘dire consequences’ equalling Jadhav’s death sentence with pre-meditated murder and has time and again asked for the consular access to him.

©SantoshChaubey

INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE STAYS KULBHUSHAN JADHAV DEATH SENTENCE

The article originally appeared on India Today.

In a major late night development, the International Court of Justice on Tuesday, in an interim order, placed a stay on the hanging of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Indian Navy officer sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage.

Jadhav’s sentencing has kicked off a diplomatic row between India and Pakistan, with New Delhi slamming Islamabad for carrying out a “farcical” trial and for refusing to allow consular access to Jadhav.

The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court or The Hague, is the main judicial organ of the United Nations and operates out of the Netherlands in Europe.

In a statement (read full ICJ statement) issued on India starting proceedings against Pakistan, the ICJ said, “Republic of India instituted proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, accusing the latter of ‘egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations’ in the matter of the detention and trial of an Indian national, Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan.”

HARISH SALVE REPRESENTING INDIA

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted about the ICJ’s decision last Tuesday night, saying that she spoke to Jadhav’s mother and informed her about the ICJ’s decision. Senior lawyer Harish Salve is representing India at the ICJ, Swaraj added in another tweet.

“I have spoken to the mother of #KulbhushanJadhav and told her about the order of President, ICJ under Art 74 Paragraph 4 of Rules of Court”, Swaraj said, adding, “Mr.Harish Salve, Senior Advocate is representing India before International Court of Justice in the #KulbhushanJadhav case.”

Responding on India’s petition, the ICJ has forbidden Pakistan from hanging Kulbhushan Jadhav until The Hague conducts a detailed hearing on the matter.

WHAT THE ICJ SAID

In a statement (full statement) issued regarding India’s claim against Pakistan, the ICJ said, “The Applicant (India) contends that it was not informed of Mr. Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights. It further alleges that, in violation of the Vienna Convention, the authorities of Pakistan are denying India its right of consular access to Mr. Jadhav, despite its repeated requests. The Applicant also points out that it learned about the death sentence against Mr. Jadhav from a press release.”

“India submits that it has information that Mr. Jadhav was “kidnapped from Iran, where he was carrying on business after retiring from the Indian Navy, and was then shown to have been arrested in Baluchistan” on 3 March 2016, and that the Indian authorities were notified of that arrest on 25 March 2016. It claims to have sought consular access to Mr. Jadhav on 25 March 2016 and repeatedly thereafter,” the statement added.

“According to the Applicant, on 23 January 2017, Pakistan requested assistance in the investigation of Mr. Jadhav’s alleged ‘involvement in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan’ and, by a Note Verbale of 21 March 2017, informed India that ‘consular access [to Mr. Jadhav would] be considered in the light of the Indian side’s response to Pakistan’s request for assistance in [the] investigation process’. India claims that ‘linking assistance to the investigation process to the grant[ing] of consular access was by itself a serious violation of the Vienna Convention’,” the statement also said.

INDIA SEEKS RELIEF

According to the ICJ statement, India has sought the following:

Relief by way of immediate suspension of the sentence of death awarded to the accused.

Relief by way of restitution in interregnum by declaring that the sentence of the military court arrived at, in brazen defiance of the Vienna Convention rights under Article 36, particularly Article 36[,] paragraph 1 (b), and in defiance of elementary human rights of an accused which are also to be given effect as mandated under Article 14 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is violative of international law and the provisions of the Vienna Convention.

Restraining Pakistan from giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court, and directing it to take steps to annul the decision of the military court as may be available to it under the law in Pakistan.

If Pakistan is unable to annul the decision, then this Court to declare the decision illegal being violative of international law and treaty rights and restrain Pakistan from acting in violation of the Vienna Convention and international law by giving effect to the sentence or the conviction in any manner, and directing it to release the convicted Indian National forthwith.”

India has also requested the ICJ to direct Pakistan to:

Take all measures necessary to ensure that Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav is not executed.

Report to the Court the action it has taken in pursuance of the required statutes.

To ensure that no action is taken that might prejudice the rights of the Republic of India or Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav with respect of any decision the Court may render on the merits of the case”.

THE KULBHUSHAN JADHAV DEATH SENTENCE

On April 10, the Pakistan Army chief confirmed Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence, which was handed down by a Pakistani military court that held Jadhav guilty of espionage.

Pakistan claims Jadhav, who allegedly used the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel in Pakistan, was attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

The Indian government has maintained that Kulbhushan Jadhav is a formal Indian Naval officer turned businessman who was on a routine business trip to Iran when he was abducted by Pakistani intelligence.

Reports say he was captured by the Taliban and later sold to the Pakistan Army.

India has also said that Jadhav is innocent and there is no evidence against him and that Pakistsan carried out a sham, secret trial in a military court where no information on charges and evidence was given.

India has warned Pakistan of ‘dire consequences’ equalling Jadhav’s death sentence with pre-meditated murder and has time and again asked for the consular access to him.

©SantoshChaubey

PAKISTAN ARMY REITERATES HIS STAND OF NO COMPROMISE ON KULBHUSHAN JADHAV

Pakistan’s Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa today held a conference of top army commanders at Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi (GHQ).

According to the Facebook page of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan Army’s media wing, Gen Bajwa and other commanders were briefed on Kulbhushan Jadhav issue and ‘it was concluded that that no compromise shall be made on such anti state acts’. Pakistan Army’s 201st Corps Commanders’ Conference was held to ‘review national security environment and recent developments in the region’.

It was Gen Bajwa only who had sentenced Jadhav to death. A military court in Pakistan had found Jadhav guilty of espionage and sabotage activities and of waging war against Pakistan by fomenting unrest in Balochistan and Karachi and had sentenced him to death which was confirmed by Gen Bajwa.

The first reaction by the Pakistan’s civilian government came hours letter after it was made public by the ISPR. Though Pakistan’s civilian government, including its prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has toed the military line, a Samaa TV report makes it clear that Pakistan Army acted unilaterally on Kulbhushan Jadhav.

“A meeting took place between the Prime Minister and the Chief Of Army Staff during which the latter took the former into confidence regarding the issue of Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav”, the Samaa TV report said yesterday.

India alleges that Jadhav is innocent and there is no evidence against him and that’s why a sham trial was held in secrecy in a military court where no information on charges and evidence was given. India has warned Pakistan of ‘dire consequences’ equalling Jadhav’s death sentence with pre-meditated murder and has again asked for the consular access to him, 14th time since his arrest on March 3, 2016.

Kulbhushan Jadhav is a formal naval officer turned businessman who was on a routine business trip to Iran when he was abducted by the Pakistani intelligence. Reports also say that he was captured by the Taliban and later sold to the Pakistan Army. Pakistani claims Jadhav, who allegedly used the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel in Pakistan, was attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

©SantoshChaubey

SECTION 59 OF PAKISTAN ARMY ACT UNDER WHICH KULBHUSHAN JADHAV HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO DEATH

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is modified and extended.

Section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act sounds like a death knell for anyone whosoever is tried under it. Defined as the Section for Civil Offences, it categorically lays out conditions for it to become an overarching legal intrusion into the fundamental rights of humanity.

And when read in conjunction with other supporting sections and sub-sections of the Pakistan Army Act, we find a lethal tool that Pakistan’s Army so indiscriminately uses to suppress voices of human rights activists, lawyers, journalists, its own members who go against senior officials or against Indians, as has happened with Kulbhushan Jadhav. Kulbhushan Jadhav is a formal naval officer turned businessman who was on a routine business trip to Iran when he was abducted by the Pakistani intelligence. A Pakistani statement claimed Jadhav, who allegedly used the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, was attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

According to an ISPR press release, a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) found Kulbhushan guilty of espionage and sabotage activities and of waging war against Pakistan by fomenting unrest in Balochistan and Karachi. He was tried under Section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act 1952 and Section 3 of the official Secrets Act 1923 and was found guilty of all charges in a secret trial in a military court where no information on charges and evidence was shared.

According to Pakistan Army Act 1952, the Section 59 defines Civil Offence as,

SECTION 59: CIVIL OFFENCES

(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), any person subject to this Act who at any place in or beyond Pakistan commits any civil offence shall be deemed to be guilty of an offence against this Act and, if charged therewith under this section, shall be liable to be [dealt with under this Act], and, on conviction, to be punished as follows, that is to say,

(a) if the offence is one which would be punishable under any law in force in Pakistan with death or with 1[imprisonment for life], he shall be liable to suffer any punishment 2* * * assigned for the offence by the aforesaid law or such less punishment as is in this Act mentioned; and

(b) In any other case, he shall be liable to suffer any punishment 2* * * assigned for the offence by the law in force in Pakistan, or 1* rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or 1* such less punishment as is in this Act mentioned [:]

[Provided that, where the offence of which any such person is found guilty is an offence liable to hadd under any Islamic law, the sentence awarded to him shall be that provided for the offence in that law.

The sub-section further defines the powers of court-martial:

The powers of a Court martial [or an officer exercising authority under section 23] to charge and punish any person under this section shall not be affected by reason of the fact that the civil offence with which such person is charged is also an offence against this Act.

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force a person who becomes subject to this Act by reason of his being accused of an offence mentioned in clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 2 shall be liable to be tried or otherwise dealt with under this Act for such offence as if the offence were an offence against this Act and were committed at a time when such person was subject to this Act ; and the provisions of this section shall have effect accordingly.

Now, let’s see what clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Pakistan Army Act says:

SECTION 2: PERSONS SUBJECT TO THE PAKISTAN ARMY ACT 1952

CLAUSE D OF SUB-SECTION 1

Persons not otherwise subject to this Act who are accused of__

  • Seducing or attempting to seduce any person subject to this Act from his duty or allegiance to Government, or
  •  Having committed, in relation to any work of defence, arsenal, naval, military or air force establishment or station, ship or aircraft or otherwise in relation to the naval, military or air force affairs of Pakistan, an offence under the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and
  • Raise arms or wage war against Pakistan, or attack the Armed Forces of Pakistan or law enforcement agencies, or attack any civil or military installations in Pakistan; or
  •  Provide or receive funding from any foreign or local source for the illegal activities under this clause shall be punished under this Act.

The Pakistan Army Act sounds like a convoluted document that gives unbridled power and illegitimate secrecy to military courts in Pakistan and these are some of its legal jargons that Pakistan has used against an innocent Indian.

Pakistan has also invoked the Official Secrets Act 1923, a British era document that has been the subject of intense debate in India for its archaic provisions. Both countries have inherited many colonial legacies like this. But Kulbhushan Jadhav’s sham trial and punishment show Pakistan uses it with impunity.

Section 3 of the OSA 1923 defines penalties for spying that can be upto fourteen years of imprisonment and goes on to say,

“It shall not be necessary to show that the accuse person was guilty of any particular act tending to State, and notwithstanding that no such act is proved against him, he may be convicted, if from the circumstances of the case or his conduct or his known character as proved, it appears that his purpose was a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interest of the State.”

Pakistan had established military courts in 2015 with a constitutional amendment to try people for terrorism and related offences committed in civilian areas after the December 2015 Peshawar school massacre and only last month, in March 2017, its parliament voted for another two years extension to them. Since their establishment, the military courts have an absolute record of convictions with no acquittals. According to the Pakistan’s military, the military courts have convicted 274 people in last two years, 161 of them being sentenced to death and 113 to varying prison terms.

India has strongly protested the sentence likening it to murder and claims that the only evidence against Jadhav is his forced confession and is expected to raise the issue internationally to expose the Pakistani sham. Since Jadhav’s arrest in March 2016, India has repeatedly asked for consular access to him but the way he has been arbitrarily and summarily sentenced to death by its Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, tells us that Pakistan was never serious about the Indian demands and about the established norms of international jurisprudence.

©SantoshChaubey

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SLAMS PAKISTAN ON KULBHUSHAN JADHAV’S DEATH SENTENCE

The article originally appeared on India Today.

Amnesty International has slammed Pakistan on the death sentence given to Kulbhushan Jadhav, the alleged Indian spy who was arrested by Pakistan in March 2016. A military court in Pakistan has sentenced him to death for espionage, sabotage activities and waging war against Pakistan.

In a series of tweets, Amnesty International’s India arm has questioned the way Pakistan’s military courts function.

Amnesty says that Pakistan’s military courts act against the established norms of jurisprudence with no access to charges and evidence against a person and sentence based on that given.
Follow

Amnesty India @AIIndia
Under Pakistan’s military courts, no info about charges or evidence against suspects, or sentences given, is made public. #KulbhushanJadhav
6:42 PM – 10 Apr 2017

Reacting to the highhandedness and arbitrariness of Pakistan’s military courts, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director Biraj Patnaik has said that the death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav “shows yet again how Pakistan’s military court system rides roughshod over international standards”, a PTI report quoted him saying. Amnesty India’s tweets with the hashtag #KulbhushanJadhav say military courts should only be for maintaining the military discipline and the rest should be left for the judicial system, be it Pakistan or India or any country.

Amnesty India @AIIndia
Military courts in Pakistan & other countries including India are only apt for military discipline, not any other crimes. #KulbhushanJadhav
6:44 PM – 10 Apr 2017

Amnesty further said that ‘that military courts are linked to coerced confessions, opaque processes and unfair trials’. “Stripping defendants of their rights and operating in notorious secrecy, military courts do not dispense justice but travesty it,” Patnaik’s statement read.

Pakistan’s propaganda claims Jadhav is a serving Indian Navy officer while India has clarified that Jadhav was an ex-Navy officer and he had no link with the government. India has also maintained that Jadhav was abducted from Iran.

©SantoshChaubey

KULBHUSHAN JADHAV DEATH SENTENCE: PAKISTANI CIVILIAN ESTABLISHMENT CALLS IT WARNING TO PAK’S ENEMIES

The article originally appeared on India Today.

Reacting to the death sentence given to the former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court, the country’s civilian establishment has likened it to ‘warning to the enemies of Pakistan’.

Pakistan has accused Jadhav of being a Research and Analysis Wing agent, a charge that the Indian government has strongly refuted.

According to a report published in Pakistani publication, The Nation, Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Asif said, “No leniency will be given to those with anti-Pakistan sentiments. His (Jhadav) death sentence is a warning to the enemies of Pakistan”.

Asif said that India’s spy agency R&AW was acting in collusion with Afghanistan to foment unrest in Balochistan and to destabilise the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Reiterating the Pakistani rant that law was followed in Jadhav’s case, the Pakistani defence minister said, “India was not their (Pakistan’s) well wisher and it sponsored cross-border terrorism in Pakistan.”

This is the first reaction from any senior minister of Pakistan’s civilian establishment on the Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence, which was confirmed by Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.

MILITARY VS THE GOVERNMENT

Notably, the civilian establishment is seen not at good terms with Pakistan’s all powerful military.

Asif’s statement on the Jadhav issue is on the expected line as Pakistan’s military wields the real power in Pakistan and its civilian government has always been forced to toe the army line.

At the same time, rivals of Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif have slammed him for his alleged soft stance on India.

Also, it is widely believed that Sharif has tried to take on the military establishment to assert the civilian government’s supremacy.

The death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav by a military court of Pakistan through a trial conducted in secrecy once again reaffirms the fact that it is the Pakistan’s military that calls the shots in the country.

Just in December, Nawaz Sharif’s Foreign Advisor Sartaj Aziz had accepted in the Pakistani Senate that the dossier on Kubhushan Jadhav had mere statements and more evidence was needed.

And now, all of a sudden, in just four months, in a military court trial, Pakistan has amassed enough evidence to hang Kulbhushan.

INDIA CRIES MURDER

The Indian government, in its reaction, has slammed the Pakistani military court’s verdict announcing a death sentence for Jadhav.

The Ministry of External Affairs sent Pakistan a sharply worded demarche, which read, “If this sentence against an Indian citizen, awarded without observing basic norms of law and justice, is carried out, the Government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder.”

©SantoshChaubey