Reacting to the death sentence given to the former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court, the country’s civilian establishment has likened it to ‘warning to the enemies of Pakistan’.
Pakistan has accused Jadhav of being a Research and Analysis Wing agent, a charge that the Indian government has strongly refuted.
According to a report published in Pakistani publication, The Nation, Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Asif said, “No leniency will be given to those with anti-Pakistan sentiments. His (Jhadav) death sentence is a warning to the enemies of Pakistan”.
Asif said that India’s spy agency R&AW was acting in collusion with Afghanistan to foment unrest in Balochistan and to destabilise the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Reiterating the Pakistani rant that law was followed in Jadhav’s case, the Pakistani defence minister said, “India was not their (Pakistan’s) well wisher and it sponsored cross-border terrorism in Pakistan.”
This is the first reaction from any senior minister of Pakistan’s civilian establishment on the Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence, which was confirmed by Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.
MILITARY VS THE GOVERNMENT
Notably, the civilian establishment is seen not at good terms with Pakistan’s all powerful military.
Asif’s statement on the Jadhav issue is on the expected line as Pakistan’s military wields the real power in Pakistan and its civilian government has always been forced to toe the army line.
At the same time, rivals of Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif have slammed him for his alleged soft stance on India.
Also, it is widely believed that Sharif has tried to take on the military establishment to assert the civilian government’s supremacy.
The death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav by a military court of Pakistan through a trial conducted in secrecy once again reaffirms the fact that it is the Pakistan’s military that calls the shots in the country.
Just in December, Nawaz Sharif’s Foreign Advisor Sartaj Aziz had accepted in the Pakistani Senate that the dossier on Kubhushan Jadhav had mere statements and more evidence was needed.
And now, all of a sudden, in just four months, in a military court trial, Pakistan has amassed enough evidence to hang Kulbhushan.
INDIA CRIES MURDER
The Indian government, in its reaction, has slammed the Pakistani military court’s verdict announcing a death sentence for Jadhav.
The Ministry of External Affairs sent Pakistan a sharply worded demarche, which read, “If this sentence against an Indian citizen, awarded without observing basic norms of law and justice, is carried out, the Government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder.”