Tuesday Apr 11, 2017
NEW DELHI: Indian minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj has cautioned Pakistan of “consequences” if it proceeds with the death sentence of Indian RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav.
Swaraj, speaking in the parliament on Jadhav’s death sentence, said India would go to any extent to “save” Jadhav, who she termed a “son of India”.
“I would caution the Pakistan government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter,” she said, as quoted by Indian media.
The external affairs minister labelled the charges against Jadhav as “concocted” and claimed there was no evidence of wrongdoing by him.
On Monday, Pakistan sentenced Kulbhushan Jadhav to death for carrying out espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan and Karachi. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed the death sentence awarded by the Field General Court Martial under the Pakistan Army Act.
In response, India lodged a formal protest with Pakistan over Jadhav’s death sentence and announced that in case the punishment was carried out it would regard it as ‘premeditated murder’.
Pakistan, however, rejected Indian objections to the RAW agent’s death sentence, saying the country’s national security is Islamabad's utmost priority.
“You can’t sponsor terrorism and then summon an ambassador to protest over the sentence of terrorists. Nothing matters more than national security,” Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit told Indian media after meeting officials of India's Ministry of External Affairs on Monday.
Swaraj told Parliament India would go to any extent to save Jadhav – File Photo
Pakistani politicians have strongly expressed their reservations over Swaraj`s statement.
Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz (PML-N) leader and legislator Tallal Chaudhary while speaking with Geo News said that India should now get it clear that they can’t dominate Pakistan on the basis of their artillery.
“We will never compromise on our national security. It’s a law practised in every single country to give death sentence to spies. We are following the same rule. We have always aimed for better bilateral relations but India is adamant to stick with anti-Pakistan rhetoric.”
Chaudhry said that the entire parliament, people of Pakistan will never make a deal or compromise on the national sovereignty. “Let a strong message be given to New Delhi, we will continue to take strict action against espionage in light of domestic and international laws.”
The PML-N leader said that Indian reactions would not change any policy decision related to Kulbhushan Jadhav.
Meanwhile, Awami National Party leader Zahid Khan said that Pakistan has given death sentence according to its laws, further adding that India has the option to appeal the sentence.
“India should exercise the right of appeal rather than give threats. It is our right to give punishment on espionage according to our laws,” he said.