Publication: The Times of India
Date: April 10, 2017
The government on Monday summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit after reports emerged that alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav had been sentenced to death+ by Pakistani military.
Foreign secretary S Jaishankar ordered Basit's presence and issued a demarche stating that the proceedings that led to Jadhav's sentencing are farcical.
"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," the Ministry of External Affairs said in the demarche.
The strongly-worded demarche further said that if due course of law is not observed in the case, India will regard Jadhav's execution as murder in the first degree.
"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," it stated.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistan army released a statement saying that Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016 in Balochistan, had been found guilty of "involvement in espionage and sabotage activities" against the country by a military tribunal. In an order signed by army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, the retired Indian Navy officer was sentenced to death.
Pakistan had alleged that Jadhav was "a serving officer" in the Indian Navy and deputed to the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and had released a " confessional video+ " of Jadhav after his arrest.
According to the ISPR statement, Jadhav "confessed" before a Magistrate and the court that he was "tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage/sabotage activities aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi."
India has acknowledged Jadhav as a retired Indian Navy officer, but denied the allegation that he was in any way connected to the government. The government's repeated requests for consular access+ to Jadhav had been denied by Pakistan.