Pakistani court sentences accused Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav to death

Earlier on Tuesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Jadhav was the victim of a plan that seeks to cast aspersions on New Delhi to deflect worldwide attention from Islamabad's well-known record of sponsoring and supporting terrorism.

According to reports, Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned to protest at the conviction and sentence.

Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former BJP leader, who was also present at the event urged Pakistan that it should "annul" the death sentence given to Jadhav.

Swaraj hinted in her remarks in Parliament that Pakistan was seeking acceptance of Jadhav's role in "espionage activities" in return for consular access to the Indian High Commission. "Without invitation you can attend a marriage but you cannot meet him or talk to him (Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif) on this issue", the Congress's House leader, Mallikarjun Kharge, said.

India has also put on hold the release of several Pakistani prisoners, scheduled for Wednesday, External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. "It is run by the military establishment and they are deliberately trying to destabilize our country by such acts", he said.

Kasuri said that he had come to speak on Pakistan -India relations despite the fact that conditions between the two countries are not good. "No effort must be spared to bring him home", said Owaisi, who was in the news past year for calling Islamic State members 'dogs of hell'. "I would caution Pakistan government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter", said Swaraj in the Rajya Sabha.

Earlier, the Congress demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention to save Jadhav, who was arrested in March a year ago by Pakistan and accused by the country of spying.

Jadhav is an ex-Indian Navy person and was engaged in a "small business" in Iran, from where he used to conduct trips to Afghanistan.

Officials accuse Jadhav of running a spy network for India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency from the Iranian port of Chabahar.

Last month, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh called for the country to completely seal its border with Pakistan on the grounds that terrorists were using it to infiltrate the country.

Pakistan accuses India of helping the separatist campaign in Balochistan, a charge denied by India.

New Delhi claims there is no evidence against Jadhav, whom the Indian media have described as a former naval officer, calling the proceedings against him "farcical". His (Jadhav) trial never took place at all.

Singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya said: "Hang every Pakistani in India (from) a tree". Senior Pakistani figures have themselves cast doubt about the adequacy of evidence.

  • Leroy Wright