Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan: Careful what you do, consider the consequence to our relationship


NEW DELHI, Apr. 11: Indian Union minister Sushma Swaraj asserted that India will go "out of way" to ensure justice to Kulbhushan Jadhav, and warned Pakistan of severe consequence to the bilateral relationship with India if it goes ahead with his execution.

"I would caution Pakistan government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter," the external affairs minister said today in an identical statement in both Houses of Parliament.

"There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Jadhav . If anything, he is the victim of a plan that seeks to cast aspersions on India to deflect international attention from Pakistan's well-known record of sponsoring and supporting terrorism," Sushma added.

"Under these circumstances, we have no choice but to regard the sentence, if carried out, as an act of pre-meditated murder," she said, adding that the sentence by the Pakistani Military Court was based on "concocted charges".

The Indian national was sentenced to death yesterday by Pakistan on charges of spying. He was arrested in March last year. India has always acknowledged that Jadhav is an ex-Navy officer, and maintained that he wasn't a spy.

"Let me state clearly that the government and the people of India would view very seriously the possibility that an innocent Indian citizen is facing death sentence in Pakistan without due process and in violation of basic norms of law, justice and international relations.

"I would caution the Pakistan government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter," Swaraj said categorically.

She said the process adopted by the Pakistani military court to award the death sentence "tells us a lot about the farcical nature of the alleged proceedings which have led to indefensible verdict against an innocent kidnapped Indian."

Replying to a suggestion by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Swaraj said the government will not only ensure that Jadhav is provided with the best of lawyers in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, but will also take up it with the country's president.

"Whatever is necessary, we will do," she said, adding that Jadhav was "not only the son of his parents, but is the son of India."

Swaraj said Jadhav was doing business in Iran and was kidnapped and taken to Pakistan. "The exact circumstances are unclear and can only be ascertained if we have consular access to him", which has been denied by the Pakistani authorities.

"It is extraordinary that yesterday, a decision is suddenly announced awarding a death sentence in this case when previous exchanges with India iteslf underlines the insufficiency of evidence," the Minister said.

Earlier, in the Lok Sabha, Indian home minister Rajnath Singh said "we will do everything possible to get justice" for Jadhav. He is expected to be hanged, the minister said in the Lok Sabha.

Rajnath very strongly condemned Pakistan's actions even in the lead up to its kangaroo court-style 'justice'.




"All the norms of law and justice were disregarded by Pakistan," the Union minister said, referring to the violations by the neighbour of the Geneva Convention. Jadhav wasn't even given consular access despite India asking Pakistan for it as many as 13 times, he said.

"He (Jadhav) had a small business in Chabahar, Iran. Pakistani security agencies kidnapped him and presented him to the country as an Indian spy. As proof, they said Jadhav has an Indian passport. How can he be a spy and carry an Indian passport," Rajnath asked.




Indian Lok Sabha members across political parties strongly condemned the death sentence to Jadhav.(TOI)

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