In a rare move, Pakistan on Monday sentenced Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadhav to death for involvement in espionage and sabotage activities in the country.
“The spy was tried through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and awarded the death sentence. Today, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed his death sentence,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. He was not tried in a military court.
Yadav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, the ISPR said, was arrested on March 3, 2016 through a counter intelligence operation from Mashkel, Balochistan.
Yadav was tried by FGCM under section 59 of PAA 1952 and Section 3 of official Secret Act of 1923. FGCM found Yadhav guilty of all the charges, the statement added.
According to the military’s media wing, Yadav confessed before a magistrate and court that he was tasked by India’s premier spy agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.
“The accused was provided with defending officer as per legal provisions,” it added.
Decision taken according to law: Asif
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif speaking on the sentence given to Yadev said the decision was taken according to law.
Talking to a private news channel, Asif said that the country’s armed forces and civilians have rendered sacrifices in the war against terrorism.
“Those who are supporting terrorism or working against the sovereignty of Pakistan would be dealt with an iron hand,” he added.
“No concession would be given to the enemies of Pakistan,” the defence minister vowed.
India termed the move to execute Yadav a “premeditated murder”.
“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,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
According to the Times of India, Indian foreign secretary summoned Pakistan High Commisioner to Delhi Abdul Basit, and called the proceedings that led to the sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav “farcical”.
Sources said Yadav, an Indian Navy commander, was posted at Chabahar port in southeastern Iran, where he lived with his wife and two children and possessed a genuine Indian passport but with a fake name.
India had sought consular access to Yadav; however, Pakistan had refused its request.
Relations between the two countries have plummeted since a deadly attack on an Indian army base in Uri in September. There have since been repeated outbreaks of cross-border firing, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries.
The recent surge in terrorist attacks in the country has also brought the India intelligence agencies’ role in backing the terrorism in Pakistan to the spotlight.
Pakistan believes India is using covert means to foment violence in the country with an aim to undermine the multi-billion dollar ‘one belt, one road’ initiative of China.
Security officials claim that RAW was using certain militant outfits operating out of Afghanistan to carryout terrorist attacks in the country.
The current Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is considered to be the architect of this policy called ‘offensive defensive’ that advocates a policy of supporting proxies to create trouble inside Pakistan.