Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar today summoned the Pakistan High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit and handed over the following demarche after news came to light that Indian civilian Kulbhushan Jadhav has been given a death sentence.
A press note of the office said:
We have seen the ISPR press release today regarding Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian citizen, who has been awarded a death sentence by a Pakistani military court martial.
Jadhav was kidnapped last year from Iran and his subsequent presence in Pakistan has never been explained credibly. The Government of India, through its High Commission in Islamabad, has repeatedly sought consular access to him, as provided for by international law. Requests to that effect were formally made 13 times between 25 March 2016 and 31 March 2017. This was not permitted by the Pakistani authorities.
The proceedings that have led to the sentence against Jadhav are farcical in the absence of any credible evidence against him. It is significant that our High Commission was not even informed that Jadhav was being brought to trial. Senior Pakistani figures have themselves cast doubt about the adequacy of evidence. The claim in the ISPR release that Kulbhushan Jadhav was provided with a defending officer during the so-called trial is clearly absurd in the circumstances.
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.
In short, India is likely to drag Pakistan on Kulbhushan Yadav but at the same time, one must not forget that Sarabjit Singh was murdered brutally and he too continued to languish in Pakistani jails for years. In many ways, Pakistani judicial system is twisted and highly notorious.