Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif today said that the country has sufficient video evidence against the Indian businessman Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been handed with death sentence by Pakistan government. Speaking at a Parliament session in Pakistan, Khawaja said, “We have evidence in form of confessional video against Kulbhushan Jadhav.” However, later during the day, Asif has also said that Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav has right to appeal against his death sentence within 60 days. The Pakistani Defence Minister has also defended the death sentence awarded to former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by the country’s military court by saying that all the ‘rules and laws of the land’ were followed in the procedure. Jadhav’s trial went on for three months, he added. Asif’s comments come a day after India warned Pakistan against carrying out the death sentence.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha earlier today, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Pakistan’s recent decision to award death sentence to an Indian national would severely impact the bilateral relations between the two countries. “Our position is very clear, there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Swaraj said.
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On April 10, reacting against Pakistan’s move, India gave a strong-worded demarche to the Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and said that if the sentencing was carried out then it will be treated as a premeditated murder as their are no credible proofs against Jadhav. Asif had earlier said that Jadhav’s sentencing should serve as a warning to those ‘plotting’ against Pakistan. “Be it the enemies coming from across the border or within Pakistan, they will receive punishment,” Asif said.
Jadhav has been charged of spying for the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and the neighbour country has alleged him of being involved in subversive activities in Gilgit-Baltistan region. Asif had also said that Jadhav’s confession was a public document and if India will raise the issue on the death sentence given to him, Islamabad will reply to New Delhi. However, India has always been denying regarding the same. As per Asif, Jadhav came to Pakistan with the approval of the Indian government. The Pakistani minister also claimed that there is no doubt about India is fueling terrorism in Pakistan.