MAMOSA Report — In a rare move, Pakistan Military’s Field General Court Martial on Monday handed death sentence to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav after trying him for involvement in espionage and sabotage activities in Karachi and Balochistan with the intent to destabilize the country internally — more specifically, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor considered a game changer albeit fate-changer for Pakistan.
Jadhav had been provided with a defending officer as per legal provisions. The Indian naval officer and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent had been operating in Pakistan disguised as Hussein Mubarak Patel.
Jadhav confessed before the court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organize subversive activities in Karachi (Pakistan’s financial capital) and Balochistan (gateway to the CPEC).
India cried foul terming Jadhav’s death sentence pre-meditated murder and summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner to New Delhi Abdul Basit handing over a demarche saying, “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.”
Experts view the military’s announcement about Jadhav’s trial and prosecution as an unprecedented move, viewing it as a strong message to India as well as other foreign intelligence agencies.
Arrested on March 3, 2016, through a counter-intelligence operation in Balochistan’s Mashkel area for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said, Jadhav, “The spy was tried through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and awarded the death sentence. Today Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed his death sentence awarded by FGCM,” the military’s media wing said.
The India’s Ministry of External Affairs in its statement claimed that “the proceedings that led to the sentence against Jadhav are farcical in the absence of any credible evidence against him”.
The Indian authorities further claimed that they had repeatedly sought consular access to Jadhav. “Requests to that effect were formally made 13 times between March 25, 2016, and March 31, 2017. This was not permitted by the Pakistani authorities,” reads the demarche.
Will Pakistan-India relations be affected by the Jadhav sentence? Analysts are still weighing in. Some said Pakistan should brace for India’s retaliation, as there will be reaction, on international forums and Pakistan should even be prepared for a spike in Line of Control violations.
According to Dawn, analysts and politicians talking to mainstream television channels in Pakistan were unanimous in welcoming the decision. While some feel the reaction from India will be strong, others maintain there will be no dramatic shift in the relationship.
Is the whole nation supporting the decision to hang Kulbhushan Jadhav (Indian spy), is it the right decision. Yes. Reactions have been largely nationalistic.
Will RAW will go on back-foot after this? Tactically yes, strategically no.
If India takes the matter up internationally will Pakistan become defensive? No.
How will the international community react? Can diplomacy work?
Leading Indian journalist Suhasini Haidar raised the question of how the sentencing may affect Pak-India ties. “With India-Pakistan relations at their lowest, wonder if diplomacy can work. Even US-Russia were able to conduct spy swaps during cold war,” she said.