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Tuesday 21 January 2020

‘Jadhav’s execution will be murder’

New Delhi: India on Monday said if Pakistan executes Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav “without observing basic norms of law and justice”, it will regard the action as “premeditated murder”. Pakistan military court has sentenced Yadav to death.

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.

The death sentence was handed down at the end of a rushed trial lasting just a few hours, without a civilian defence lawyer.

Though experts on Pakistan believe Jadav might have the option of moving an appellate military court and after that the Pakistan’s Supreme Court and the President because he might be treated as an Indian military official who has given a confessional statement in custody.

However, Jadhav has not been allowed access to any lawyer so far.

According to reports about his confessional statements, there are his contradictory statements about his status in the Indian Navy. While in one he says he will be in the job of Indian Navy till 2022, in another he says he has worked for Indian Navy till 2001 December.

Notwithstanding the possible legal option, the current situation for Jadav is such that his fate lies totally in the hands of generals and politicians, not judges.

Jadhav’s death sentence timing is such that eyebrows are being raised as to whether this is some kind of a revenge act by the Pak authorities after the disappearance of a retired ISI agent, Pakistani Lt Colonel, Muhammad Habib Zahir, from Lumbini. Lumbini is close to the India-Nepal border.

Islamabad suspects that Zahir, a former ISI officer, was probably lured by India’s intelligence services. Zahir is suspected to have played a key role in running terror networks, targeting states on the India-Nepal border.

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