External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, while speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, cautioned Islamabad to consider the consequences for Indo-Pak bilateral relationship if it proceeds with the death sentence the Pakistani military awarded alleged Indian spy.
“There is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Kulbhushan Jadhav. This is an act of premeditated murder. I would caution Pakistan govt to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter,” she said.
“Will go out of the way to save him, wo poore Hindustan ka beta hai. Hindustan ke iss bete ko bachane ke liye acha vakeel khada karna toh bohot chhoti baat hai, hum President tak bhi baat karenge,” the minister said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also assured the House that the government would do whatever it takes to bring justice to Jadhav.
“India strongly condemns the death sentence. Basic norms of law and justice were violated. I want to tell the house that the government will do whatever it takes to make sure Kulbhushan Jadhav gets justice,” Singh said in Lok Sabha.
The Congress had also raised the issue of the death sentence to Jadhav – the Indian national sentenced to death by Pakistan on charges of being a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) spy – in Parliament and slammed the government over its ‘silence’.
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge questioned the government for its silence on the allegations by Pakistan that Jadhav was an Indian spy. “Pakistan is lying that Jadhav is an Indian spy. Why is government silent?” Kharge said.
The Opposition united against Pakistan and asked the government to ‘get Kulbhushan Jadhav back’.
“Agar usey bacha nahi paaye toh ye sarkaar ki kamzori hogi. (We’ll consider the government weak if it fails to save Kulbhushan),” Kharge added.
“Pakistan’s action is an assault on international laws, violation of Geneva convention,” Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said while speaking on the issue.
On Monday, Pakistan sentenced former Indian Navy officer Jadhav to death for alleged spying and stoking trouble in Balochistan, which took India by surprise and it warned Islamabad that if the verdict were to be implemented it would be ‘premeditated murder’ carried out ‘without observing basic norms of law and justice’.
Pakistani army chief had approved the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav for alleged “espionage and sabotage” activities.
In retaliation, India decided not to release about a dozen Pakistani prisoners, who were to be repatriated on Wednesday
The government feels that it is not the right time for the release of Pakistani prisoners, official sources said here.
The prisoners were to be released as part of the practice by India and Pakistan to repatriate nationals lodged in each other’s jail after they complete their sentence.
The death sentence to Jadhav, 46, was confirmed by Pakistan army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa after the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) found him guilty of “all the charges”, said the military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in Rawalpindi.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar summoned Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit and issued a strongly-worded demarche.