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Kulbhushan Jadhav Death Sentence Likely to Echo in Parliament Today

Parliament session is likely to be dominated by the death sentence handed to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan on charges of espionage.

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Updated:April 11, 2017, 8:35 AM IST
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Kulbhushan Jadhav Death Sentence Likely to Echo in Parliament Today
File photo of Kulbhushan Jadhav
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New Delhi: Tuesday’s Parliament session is likely to be dominated by the death sentence handed to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan on charges of espionage.

New Delhi has said it will regard as "premeditated murder" if Pakistan carries out the death sentence against Jadhav "without observing basic norms of law and justice".

Soon after reports of the death sentence on Monday, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar summoned Abdul Basit, the Pakistan High Commissioner to India, and gave a strongly-worded demarche, which said the proceedings that have led to the sentence against Jadhav were "farcical" as there were no "credible evidence" against him.

Reacting to a press release by Pakistan military's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Jadhav, India said he was kidnapped last year from Iran and his subsequent presence in Pakistan has never been explained credibly.

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India, through its High Commission in Islamabad, has repeatedly sought consular access to him, as provided for by international law and 13 such requests were formally made between 25 March, 2016 and 31 March, 2017, the demarche said. "This was not permitted by the Pakistani authorities," it said.

The proceedings that have led to the sentence against Jadhav are "farcical in the absence of any credible evidence" against him, it said, adding it is significant that Indian High Commission was not even informed that Jadhav was being brought to trial.

"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 foreign secretary said in the demarche.

Pakistan's Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has said the death sentence handed out to Jadhav should serve as a warning to those "plotting" against the country.

ALSO READ | Secret Trial, Denial of Consular Access: Flaws in Kulbhushan Jadhav Case

"Those plotting against Pakistan will not be spared," Asif said after the Pakistani military announced that an army court had sentenced Jadhav to death and the army chief, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, approved his execution.

Jadhav's sentencing by a Pakistani military court was according to the law, Asif told Geo TV.

The sentence comes months after Pakistani Prime Minister's advisor on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, had reportedly told the Pakistan senate on December 7 that the "dossier" on Jadhav were "mere statements" and that it did not have any "conclusive evidence".

ALSO READ | Pakistan Should be Warned of Consequences of Executing Jadhav: Subramanian Swamy

He even had said that the material was "insufficient", adding "now it is up to the concerned authorities how long they take to give us more matter on the agent."

Jadhav was "arrested" on March 3 last year by Pakistani security forces in the restive Balochistan province after he reportedly entered from Iran. Pakistan has alleged that Jadhav was "a serving officer" in the Indian Navy and deputed to the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW).

The Pakistan Army had released a "confessional video" of Jadhav after his arrest.

India has acknowledged that Jadhav served with the navy but denied he has any connection with the government.

India had issued note verbale to Pakistan Foreign Ministry on March 25, March 30, May 6, June 10, July 11 and December 19 last year, seeking consular access to Jadhav.

In 2017, note verbale was issued on January 19, February 2, March 3, March 21 and March 31.

Two separate note verbales were sent to Political Wing and Consular Wing of Pakistan Foreign Ministry on February 2 seeking access to Jadhav.

A demarche was issued to Pakistan Foreign Ministry by the MEA on February 3, sources said.

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