In a surprise move, alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav was today sentenced to death by a Pakistani court. Last year, Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan. As per a release by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Jadhav was tried through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and awarded death sentence.
A few months back, Pakistan had released a “confessional video” in which Jadhav was seen telling the Pakistani Army officer that he was a serving Indian Navy officer. While India has admitted that Jadhav is a retired Indian Navy officer, it has vehemently denied if Jadhav had any links with the government.
Notably, in December 2016, Foreign Advisor to Pakistani’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Sartaj Aziz had said that there was no conclusive evidence on Jadhav’s role in any act of espionage.
Not just Aziz’s statement, there are many loopholes in the Jadhav case, and the sudden death sentence move has sparked off a fresh controversy amid ongoing tension between India and Pakistan.
Here’s a look at the loopholes in the case:
A forensic examination of the video conducted by India’s intelligence agencies shows that the ‘spy video’ has been heavily edited and the audio has been spliced in several places. At different points, Kulbhushan’s facial expressions do not even match.
According to reports of Pakistani media, Jadhav was picked up on March 3, whereas his arrest was announced only on March 24. The three-week gap between his detention and arrest raises serious doubts about whether coercive, third degree techniques were used on Kulbhushan Jadhav to extract a statement dictated by the Pakistani agencies.
Video Courtesy: YouTube/Geonews
Pakistan brought up the Jadhav episode just before the Pakistani Joint Investigation Team set foot on Indian soil to probe the Pathankot terror attack. Was this planned?
Following the arrest of Jadhav, the Home Minister of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, Sarfaraz Bugti had announced that he was picked up from Chaman. However, in the Pakistan army’s press conference, Asim Bajwa had announced that Yadav was picked up from Saravan. Notably, Chaman is the eastern most extremity of Balochistan. Whereas, Saravan is south-east of Zahidan. Chaman is 873 kilometres from Saravan by road. Why was this major inconsistency in the claim made by Pakistan’s agencies?
Another loophole is in the claim that Kulbhushan Jadhav was carrying an Indian passport in the name of Mumbai resident Hussain Mubarak Patel. Indian experts argue that no specially-trained field agent will carry a passport which may link him back to his native country. If Jadhav was indeed a RAW agent, it would have been easier for him to carry Pakistani identity papers instead of running the risk of getting caught with an Indian passport.