Bilateral ties will be hit if Jadhav is hanged, Sushma warns Pakistan

RSTV Bureau

Issuing a stern warning to Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday cautioned that Pakistan should keep in mind the consequences of carrying out the death sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Saying that any action by Pakistan will adversely impact bilateral relations between the neighbouring countries, Swaraj made a statement in Rajya Sabha

“Charges against Kulbhushan Jadhav are “concocted”, “farcical”; There is no evidence of wrong-doing by him, ” said Swaraj.

Sushma-Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha

Swaraj said that the government will put in all efforts to ensure that Jadhav gets the required legal support to fight his case.

“Our position is very clear, there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Swaraj said.

 Kulbhushan Jadhav's passport File Photo-PTI

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s passport
File Photo-PTI

Sushma’s statement in the parliament came after opposition members demanded government’s response to the death sentence issued by Pakistan to Jadhav, who was “arrested” by Pakistani security forces on March 3 last year in the restive Balochistan province after he reportedly entered from Iran.

Reacting strongly, India on Monday said it will regard as “premeditated murder” if Pakistan carries out the death sentence, awarded to its national Kulbhushan Jadhav “without observing basic norms of law and justice”.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar summoned Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit and gave a strongly worded demarche, which said the proceedings that have led to the sentence against Jadhav were “farcical” as there was no “credible evidence” against him.

Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016, during a press conference by Pakistan's army spokesman and the Information Minister, in Islamabad, Pakistan.  Photo: PTI

Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016, during a press conference by Pakistan’s army spokesman and the Information Minister, in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Photo: PTI

Meanwhile, the opposition urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mount diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to secure the release of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court.

“Death sentence is a deliberate provocation to India. BJP Govt needs to travel beyond advisories. PM must intervene to secure his release (sic),” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted.

Pakistan has alleged that Jadhav was “a serving officer” in the Indian Navy and deputed to the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). India has acknowledged that Jadhav served with the navy but denied he has any connection with the government.

India had issued note verbale to Pakistan Foreign Ministry on March 25, March 30, May 6, June 10, July 11 and December 19 last year, seeking consular access to Jadhav.

In 2017, note verbale was issued on January 19, February 2, March 3, March 21 and March 31.

Two separate note verbales were sent to Political Wing and Consular Wing of Pakistan Foreign Ministry on February 2 seeking access to Jadhav.

A demarche was issued to Pakistan Foreign Ministry by the MEA on February 3, sources said.