A Pakistani military court has issued a death sentence for an Indian man who they claim confessed himself to be a spy from India’s foreign intelligence service.
The man in question is Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, a former officer in the Indian Navy, who was detained by Pakistani authorities in March 2016 and accused of “sabotage and espionage” against Pakistan.
News of the pending execution has outraged Indian politicians and other officials, with the Indian foreign office saying in a statement: “If this sentence against an Indian citizen, awarded without observing basic norms of law and justice, is carried out, the government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder.” An Indian member of parliament said, “If the sentence is carried out, it will call for very serious escalation on our part too.”
India and Pakistan, like all countries around the world, regularly conduct espionage against each other. The Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, is all but confirmed as being the major sponsor and coordinator of the infamous 2008 Mumbai attacks which killed 166 people. However, spies themselves are rarely executed, instead usually expelled or used as diplomatic leverage in exchange for other political prisoners.