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Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence : Sushma Swaraj warns Pakistan, Rajnath Singh promises to do the best to save him

Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence : Sushma Swaraj warns Pakistan, Rajnath Singh promises to do the best to save him

| | 11 Apr 2017, 01:17 pm
New Delhi, Apr 11 (IBNS) : As protests and anger flew thick in Parliament over the death sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, top ministers of the Narendra Modi Government on Tuesday promised all out efforts to save the retired Navy officer, while sounding warning against the possible consequences on bilateral relationship if the neighbouring country goes ahead on the matter.

According to reports, the issue of death penalty, awarded to Jadhav on the charge of being an "Indian spy" rocked both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha as members in unison demanded the Government's intervention.

In a statement in the upper House, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the way Jadhav has been sentenced to death is nothing short of "an act of premeditated murder."

"The Government will go out of the way to save him”, Swaraj, who called Kulbhushan Jadhav a son of India, said.

"“I would caution the Pakistan Government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter,” she said.

Swaraj said the charges of spying levelled against Jadhav are "concocted" and  "there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by him."

Earlier, in the Lok Sabha,  Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh condemned the death sentence awarded to Jadhav and asserted that  the Government will do its best to ensure justice to him.

His statement  came as members of  the Lok Sabha, cutting across political lines, expressed their concern and anger over the way Jadhav has been branded a "spy" and awarded death penalty by Pakistan.

"India strongly condemns the death sentence. Basic norms of law and justice were violated. I want to tell the House that the Government will do whatever it takes to make sure Kulbhushan Jadhav gets justice,"  Singh said.

"The way he has been awarded death penalty has triggered anger, not only in Parliament, but also across the country," he said.

"All the norms of law and justice were disregarded by Pakistan," Singh said in an apparent reference to the Geneva convention rules and added that  Jadhav wasn't even given consular access despite India asking Pakistan for it as many as 13 times.

The Home Minister told the House that  Jadhav  had a small business in Chabahar, Iran. Pakistani security agencies kidnapped him and presented him to the country as an Indian spy. As proof, they said Jadhav has an Indian passport. "How can he be a spy and carry an Indian passport, I don't understand" Singh said.

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

He  was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on Monday.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that Pakistan has sentenced Jadhav "on lies and false allegations of spying."

"If Pakistan hangs Kulbhushan Jadhav, then it is murder. The Government will be seen as weak if it cannot free him,"  Kharge said

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi said, "The Government has influence, please use it. Will the government make every effort to save him? It is our joint responsibility to save him."

Biju Janata Dal's Jay Panda said, "We are all united on this issue. No one is opposition or government. We are all Indians on this...India must take this up at UN."

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

India also said that Pakistan had ignored its multiple requests to let the Indian consulate deiplomats to meet Jadhav.

India has also  reportedly decided against the release of 12 Pakistani prisoners who were cleared to return home on Wednesday.

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