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Pakistan Army court sentences Jadhav to death; India slams verdict

Kulbhushan Yadav
Kulbhushan Yadav
A former Indian Naval officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav, has been awarded the death sentence by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan which tried him under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) for his alleged involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against that country, drawing sharp reactions from India.
 
A press release from Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Pakistan Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had confirmed the death sentence awarded by FGCM today.
 
Pakistan has accused Jadhav of being an agent of India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and claimed that he was arrested on March 3, 2016 through a counter intelligence operation from Mashkel, Balochistan.
 
The release said Jadhav was tried by FGCM under section 59 of Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section 3 of O?cial Secret Act of 1923. FGCM found Kulbushan Sudhir Yadhav guilty of all the charges. "He confessed before a Magistrate and the Court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organize espionage / sabotage activities aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.
 
"The accused was provided with defending of?cer as per legal provisions," the release said.
 
In Delhi, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and handed over a demarche to him which, among other things, warned that if the sentence were carried out, the Government and people of India would regard it as a case of premeditated murder.
 
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"We have seen the ISPR press release today regarding Shri Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian citizen, who has been awarded a death sentence by a Pakistani military court martial," the demarche said.
 
"Shri Jadhav was kidnapped last year from Iran and his subsequent presence in Pakistan has never been explained credibly. The Government of India, through its High Commission in Islamabad, has repeatedly sought consular access to him, as provided for by international law. Requests to that effect were formally made 13 times between 25 March 2016 and 31 March 2017. This was not permitted by the Pakistani authorities.
 
"The proceedings that have led to the sentence against Shri Jadhav are farcical in the absence of any credible evidence against him. It is significant that our High Commission was not even informed that Shri Jadhav was being brought to trial. Senior Pakistani figures have themselves cast doubt about the adequacy of evidence. The claim in the ISPR release that Shri Jadhav was provided with a defending officer during the so-called trial is clearly absurd in the circumstances.
 
"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," the demarche added.
 
NNN
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