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