Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Pakistan awards death sentence to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav

Kulbhushan Jadhav

RAWALPINDI: Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in Pakistan for espionage and sabotage activities, has been handed down death sentence by the military court, confirmed the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The man, named by the army as Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav who also goes by the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, was arrested in Balochistan last year. The Indian naval officer had confessed to committing and planning subversive activities inside Pakistan.  “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. He confessed before a Magistrate and the Court that he was tasked by Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (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 Baluchistan and Karachi.

What Kulbhushan had confessed?

Hailing from Mumbai, Kulbhushan Jadhav, in his confessional video statement soon after his arrest, said that he joined Indian Defence Academy in 1987 before being commissioned in Indian navy in 1991. In contrast with New Delhi’s claim, he says, “I am still a serving officer in the Indian Navy and will be due for retirement in 2022”. The on-duty spy went on to say that he commenced intelligence operations by 2002 and established a small business in Chabahar, Iran in 2003 as a cover-up. He admitted to have visited Karachi undetected in 2003 and 2004. “I am basically the man for Mr Anil Kumar Gupta who is the joint secretary of RAW and his contacts in Pakistan, especially in the Baloch student organization,” he confessed in the video. The operative said that he was directed to meet Baloch insurgents and conduct subversive activities with their collaboration, which resulted in the ‘killing or injuring of Pakistani citizens’.

Background

Pakistani security agencies on March 24, 2016 apprehended an ‘on-duty RAW agent’ from Balochistan. The suspect was said to be an officer of the RAW 1Indian navy working for the covert agency to destabilize Pakistan. The operative had contacts with banned organizations and was working on plans to break Karachi and Balochistan away from Pakistan, and to sabotage the billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. On March 25, a day after the arrest, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said the Indian man arrested from Balochistan has no connection with the government, however, admitted that Kulbhushan Yadav is a former officer of the Indian navy. “He (Jadhav) acquired premature retirement from the Indian navy and since then the government has nothing to do with him,” said Vikas Swarup, a spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, requesting Pakistan to grant counsellor access to the ‘arrested Indian citizen’.

Espionage accusations

The arch-rivals routinely accuse each other of sending spies into their countries and it is not uncommon for either to expel diplomats accused of espionage, particularly at times of high tension. However death sentences have rarely been passed in such cases in recent years. In 2013 an Indian sentenced to death for spying in Pakistan was killed in jail after being attacked by fellow inmates. Sarabjit Singh had been on death row for 16 years. In 1999 another Indian, Sheikh Shamim, was hanged in a Pakistani jail almost ten years after he was caught “red-handed” near the border and arrested on charges of spying. Previous cases have largely gone through civilian courts.

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