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Kulbhushan Jadhav sentenced to death: Naidu says Pakistan will be condemned worldwide

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. File PTI External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. File
Eleena Tovar | 12 Abril, 2017, 18:47

A childhood friend of Jadhav, Tulsidas Pawar, has started a signature campaign in Mumbai to get him freed from the clutches of Pakistan. Swaraj issued a stern warning to Pakistan, cautioning them that they should keep in mind the consequences of carrying Jadhav's out the death sentence on the bilateral relations between the neighbouring countries. "If anything, he is the victim of a plan that seeks to cast aspersions on India to deflect worldwide attention from Pakistan's well-known record of sponsoring and supporting terrorism", Swaraj had told both Houses of Parliament earlier in the day.

"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", a statement from MEA read.

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said India must recognise Balochistan as an independent country if Pakistan went ahead with Jadhav's execution. "We pointed out that consular access to Shri Jadhav would be an essential pre-requisite in order to verify the facts and understand the circumstances of his presence in Pakistan".

Pakistan released a video "confession" of Jadhav, in which he accepted that he was a former India Navy officer.

Swaraj stated that Jadhav was running his business in Iran, and from there he was kidnapped and taken to Pakistan. To make matters even more absurd, three hours after the death sentence was announced, the Indian High Commission received an official communication from the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan reiterating the Pakistani proposal for conditional consular access.

Stating that it was "an indefensible verdict", she said the charges against Jadhav were "concocted" and "farcical".

"Let me state clearly that the Government and people of India would view very seriously the possibility that an innocent Indian citizen is facing death sentence in Pakistan without due process and in violation of basic norms of law, justice and global relations". He later said Fadnavis informed the delegation that he has spoken to Swaraj about the issue. I want to assure the House that the government will do everything possible to get justice for Jadhav.

As parliamentarians from different political parties condemned Pakistan's move, "Save Kulbhushan" was the sentiment that echoed in Lok Sabha, the Lower House of Indian Parliament. "Jadhav was not given a chance to defend himself", Shelar said in a letter submitted to Singh.

Jadhav, who hails from Maharashtra, was "arrested" on March 3 past year by Pakistan security officials allegedly in Balochistan which, they said, he entered from Iran.