New Delhi: After Pakistan announced that it will execute an Indian arrested there last year on charges of espionage, India retaliated by deciding it will not release 12 Pakistani prisoners who were cleared to return home tomorrow.
Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav, 46, has confessed to spying for Indian intelligence agency, the Pakistani army said. He was found guilty by a military court which was closed to the public and was sentenced to death.
“Today, (army chief) Gen Qamer Javed Bajwa has confirmed his death sentence,” a Pakistani military statement said, without stating when the execution would take place.
The move immediately escalated tension between India and Pakistan. “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 Ministry said. Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned to protest at the conviction and sentence. India has said it was repeatedly denied access to Mr Jadhav.
Pakistan arrested Mr Jadhav, a former naval officer, last year in March. It claims that he told the court that was tasked by India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency to “plan, coordinate, and organize espionage/sabotage activities aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan” in the southwestern province of Balochistan and in the bustling port city of Karachi.