ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top officials toughened on Wednesday their stand on the death sentence for an Indian national accused of espionage, saying his trial was fair and that Islamabad wouldn’t bow to pressure from New Delhi.
'The charges against Jadhav were such that he could not be tried in a civil court… and he was also provided defence counsel,' Basit said in an interview, adding Jadhav had been visiting Pakistan since 2003 using an original Indian passport, but a fake name
In New Delhi Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, said Kulbhushan Jadhav, a retired Indian naval officer, was tried in a military court because he was not a civilian, a treatment that was given also to Pakistani citizens accused of similar crimes.
Basit’s explanation was in response to India’s questioning of the fairness of Jadhav’s court-martial in utter secrecy–a trial that external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj called “farcical”. India denies the charges against 46- year old Jadhav, who was sentenced for “espionage” on Monday.
“The charges against Jadhav were such that he could not be tried in a civil court… and he was also provided defence counsel,” Basit said in an interview, adding Jadhav had been visiting Pakistan since 2003 using an original Indian passport but a fake name.
The envoy said 270 people, including Pakistanis, were tried in these courts that deal with terror cases. Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf echoed Basit. “For anyone involved in espionage and sabotage, the case is tried in military court, a lawyer is assigned to defend the accused and the procedure is the same for Pakistanis as well as foreigners,” he said.