A military court on Monday sentenced Kulbhushan Jadhav to death after he was found guilty of “spying” charges. Jadhav was arrested by Pakistan forces in Balochistan in March 2016 and was charged with espionage and “waging war” on Pakistan. The judgment has incited strong reactions from India with the Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar issuing a demarche to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, saying that India will see the capital punishment as “premeditated murder”.
In a bid to mount pressure on Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said carrying out the death sentence will affect the bilateral relations between the two countries. Here is a look at how some of the leading Pakistan dailies have reported on the sentencing:
1) The Dawn
The Dawn in its reportage described the judgment as “rare move” and said the verdict has come at a time when the relations between the two countries are at their worst. Another column on Dawn website titled “Will Pak-India relations be affected by the Jadhav sentence?” offered reactions from several of country’s analysts. While some experts in the column said that the nation is united on the decision and should not back down from pressure by India, others said Pakistan should share evidence with India and the country should expect a strong reaction from its neighbouring nation.
“Now that we have made our move, which is the right thing to do, we should brace for India’s retaliation,” Lieutenant General (retired) Talat Masood was quoted in the column.
2) The Nation
The lead story in The Nation deals with the judgment by the military court and the headlines read “Death to spy spikes tensions”. The article talks about how the decision to award a death penalty to a former Indian Navy officer will pit the two nuclear-armed states against each other. “… a military court on Monday sentenced a high-profile Indian spy to death, ratcheting up longstanding tensions between the nuclear-armed states.” The article also quoted analyst Dr Hassan Askar’s views on the decision to execute Jadhav. Askar who said the judgment was “according to Pakistan law” but would “further increase tension between the two countries”.
3) The Express Tribune
The Express Tribune also carried it as a lead story with the headline “Self-confessed Indian spy awarded death sentence”. Describing the decision as “unprecedented”, the article talked about the diplomatic tensions started by the decision between India and Pakistan in the lead paragraph. As the headline suggests, the article also focuses on the fact that Jadhav himself confessed that he was an Indian spy and goes on to talk about the 6-minute video of his confession.