If Pakistan executes Jadhav, we will treat it as murder, says Centre
Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said India was piling diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to release Jadhav.
Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Thursday said that India was piling diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to release Kulbhushan Jadhav and that if the neighbouring country went ahead with his execution, New Delhi would treat it as murder, PTI reported. “We have given a strong message to the authorities in Pakistan that the way in which the verdict has been given by the army court is not transparent and not in accordance with bilateral relations between the two nations,” Bhamre told the news agency.
Refusing to divulge the exact steps being taken by the Centre to secure Jadhav’s release, Bhamre added, “If this verdict is implemented, we will consider it as the murder of an Indian national. In any case, we will not tolerate this.”
The minister was not alone in speaking out against the death penalty imposed on the 44-year-old by Pakistan. Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer who has been accused by Pakistan of being an agent of India’s Research and Analysis Wing, also found support in Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday. India would go to any extent to get justice for Jadhav, Singh was quoted as saying by PTI.
The Ministry of External Affairs also added that it had no idea of the whereabouts or condition of Jadhav. “We don’t know where he is now, or what his condition is. These facts cannot be ascertained. Nor has Pakistan shared these details with us,” a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, Gopal Baglay, said. He also accused Pakistan of denying India consular access to Jadhav. The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday made another request to Pakistan for consular access to Jadhav, the fourteenth such request since he was arrested by the neighbouring country.
“The international norm is consular access. There is an agreement between India and Pakistan on consular access. It has to be expeditiously granted,” Times Now reported Baglay as saying.
Meanwhile, reactions from Pakistan on the matter were mixed. Top army generals, at a Corps Commanders meeting presided over by Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa in Rawalpindi on Thursday, decided not to “compromise” on the death sentence awarded to Jadhav, The Economic Times reported. However, Baloch leaders condemned the death sentence and called it an “inhuman and illegal” decision.
Baloch Republican Party member Ashraf Sherjan said Jadhav’s alleged connection with Balochistan was part of Pakistan’s fake propaganda against the region. “No spies can take their national ID card and work as a spy with spy agencies,” he said, adding that the sentence was illegal because the country did not have the right to award death penalty to an Indian citizen.