Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in Pakistan last year on the charges of espionage, has been given the death penalty.
According to a statement by the Pakistani military’s publicity wing Inter-Services Public Relations, Jadhav was declared guilty by an army court for waging war against Pakistan and stoking violence in Balochistan.
“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 awarded by FGCM,” the ISPR said on Monday afternoon. India has denied all charges.
“He confessed before a magistrate and the court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organize espionage / sabotage activities aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.”
Pakistan arrested Jadhav on March 3, 2016 in Balochistan on the charges of being an agent of India’s Intelligence service RAW (Research and Analysis Wing), fuelling the Baloch separatist movement and attempting to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
In a video released by the Pakistan Army shows Jadhav, who is purportedly heard as stating that he served the Indian Navy. He also alleged that he arrived in Iran in 2003 and started a small business in Chahbahar.
However, RAW officials pointed out many errors in the video and said that Jadhav might have been coerced. Jadhav alleged in the video that he was recruited by the RAW in 2013, ten years after he established a base in Iran’s Chabahar.
Jadhav also claims that he was deputed by the Indian Navy to gather domestic intelligence after the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.
Jadhav’s detention and trial drove a wedge in bilateral ties between two countries as Pakistan repeatedly denied India’s request for extradition, saying that the former navy officer was proof that India wanted to fan an armed insurrection in Balochistan.
In December last year, Sartaj Aziz Pakistan’s foreign policy adviser said that the dossiers on Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav contained mere statements” and did not have any conclusive evidence. However, Pakistan denied the statement hours later.