Monday, April 10, 2017

Alleged Indian spy sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court -- India reacts strongly

An alleged Indian spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav, has been tried by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) of the Pakistan Army and sentenced to death. Yadav is a former Commander of the Indian Navy, who, as per his family, was involved in international business and had nothing to do with any kind of espionage and had in fact sought premature retirement from the Navy and was not employed by the Government in any manner.

As is well known, courts martial in Pakistan have come under heavy international scrutiny in the past for their lack of independence, competence and also intense secrecy in which these are conducted. Pakistan’s move to try civilians by military courts has also been a major point of controversy in the past.

The case has raised concerns in India not only because an Indian citizen has been sentenced to death by Pakistan but also since India does not try civilians by court-martial. In fact, even spies are tried by the regular civilian judiciary in India and there are many cases where individuals tried by the State for spying have been acquitted by Courts.

India has strongly reacted to the incident and has raised a red-flag against the military trial of Jadhav. In a strongly worded official demarche, India has stated that if the sentence is carried out, then it shall be ‘premeditated murder without observing basic norms of law and justice’.

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