The Shiv Sena today sought the United Nations’ intervention to secure the release of retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistan army court on alleged “espionage” charge. The Uddhav Thackeray-led outfit, part of the ruling BJP-led coalition at the Centre, termed the development as sad, painful and agonising.
“The decision of Pakistani military court is sad, painful and agonising. The saddest part is that the Indian government could not secure Jadhav’s release,” Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande told PTI. “It’s time the government gives a tit-for-tat response to Pakistan. If India has such Pakistani prisoners, it can think about awarding a similar sentence to them as a befitting reply to the neighbouring nation,” she added.
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Kayande said the Centre should immediately use all means at its disposal to secure the release of 46-year-old former Navy officer. “We hope the Centre would immediately seek the UN help for Jadhav’s release,” she said.
Jadhav was “arrested” on March 3 last year by Pakistan security officials allegedly in Balochistan which he entered from Iran. He was sentenced to death by a military court in a secret trial for alleged “espionage and sabotage activities” and Pakistan’s army chief today approved his execution.
The Indian government has maintained proceedings that have led to the sentence against Jadhav are “farcical in the absence of any credible evidence” against him. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said Jadhav was kidnapped last year from Iran and his subsequent presence in Pakistan has never been “explained credibly.”