Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday defended the death sentence awarded to former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by the country’s military court, saying that all the “rules and laws of the land” were followed. He added that Jadhav’s trial went on for three months. His comments come a day after India warned Pakistan against carrying out the death sentence.
Earlier today, speaking in the Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said it would severely impact the bilateral relations between the two countries in case Pakistan executes Jadhav. “Our position is very clear, there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Swaraj said.
On Monday, in a strongly-worded demarche given to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, India said if the sentencing was carried out then it will be treated as a premeditated murder as there was no credible evidence against Jadhav. Asif earlier said that Jadhav’s sentencing should serve as a warning to those “plotting” against Pakistan. “Those plotting against Pakistan will not be spared,” Asif said.
Jadhav was charged with spying for the Research & Analysis Wing and allegedly being involved in subversive activities in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.