Hanging the Evidence; Why Pakistan Shouldn’t Execute Jadhav

By Syed Fraz Hussain Naqvi.

The verdict of death granted to the Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, abducted in Pakistan Province of Balochistan on 3rd of March 2016, by the Military Court of Pakistan has become the pearl of news now a days. It has, without any doubt, triggered the qualm between Pakistan and India. India has violently reacted against the verdict and termed it as “premeditated murder”. The issue occupies a central position in three states. Apart from India and Pakistan, Iran is also a claimant in the contemporary ongoing issue since the alleged had entered Pakistan via Iran while working in Chahbahar. Though Iran has vigorously nullified any blames of regurgitating spies against the State of Pakistan yet the conspiracy still remains unfolded.

Through the trial under Section 59 of Pakistan Army Act and Section 3 of Official Secret Act of 1923, Jadhav was confirmed the death verdict. As it has been the common practice since decades that spies get executed, the case of Jadhav is no different to it as well. But unlike most of others, this may have some negative consequences for Pakistan.

Wherever the spies are apprehended, they are trialed by the highest courts of such countries. The proceedings are judgmental and without any political or military interventions. Since the military courts in Pakistan are only for temporary time period and their main task is to rapid the process of decision making, the impression which the world would get might get averse regarding the fair trial. The military involvement in the civilian institutes of Pakistan is the bone of contention. Pakistan should have transferred the decision onto the hands of Supreme Court judges providing no space to India for making the hue and cry. Verily, the claims of India regarding the innocence of Jadhav are fallacious rather hollow. As per the international law, only that person would be called a spy who infiltrate into enemy lines without a uniform. So Indian assertions regarding the “retired navy personnel” is anyhow a cock and a bull story.

But still, to give military courts the authority of verdict is a big suspicion onto the capability and working of civilian institutions. Nevertheless, the main question which strives for the answer is the intentions of Pakistan Government as to why is it trying to execute the spy providing the bargaining chip in their hands? Pakistan could certainly have pressurized India both diplomatically and militarily and could raise the issue before the international community. Through this, also Pakistan could have a concrete evidence regarding the presence of Indian spies in other neighboring lands especially the utilization of Afghanistan territory by the Indian State for creating the upheaval in Pakistan. International Community still has a worm’s eye view over the issue. By delaying the execution and propagating the issue more effectively, Pakistan could give the wakeup call to India and it would certainly enhance the chances of the elevation of Pakistan status before the world. It might further strengthen the position of Pakistan over Kashmir. Pakistan could have easily argued regarding its willingness to discuss over Kashmir but the deterioration of talks on the behalf of India through such acts.

However, the situation, right now, is totally opposed to what has been discussed earlier. India is trying to impose its will over Pakistan through rhetoric way. The denial to Consular General of India to have an access to the spy is manifesting the violation of International norms as India perceives. Whether it is true or not, the refusal has arisen the questions on the validity of process. India can catch this opportunity and it may turn the game into two equal halves instead of going into Pakistan’s favor. However, the chances are less providing two absolute reasons. One is the silence of Iran over this issue. When asked about Iranian role in Jadhav’s case, Iran Ambassador to India, Mr. Gholamreza Ansari, told the Indian journalists that Iran is probing Jadhav’s case and he restrained to say anything else. This attitude shows the least interest of Iran in the execution of Jadhav and the assertions which India has made. If the party to this case i.e. Iran, is not captivated to this case, we can expect nothing different to the rest of the world. Second reason is the handing over of Indian soldier, Chandu Chavan, to Indian Officials by Pakistan Army on 21st of January this year. Chavan, who accidentally crossed the border, was returned after four months of interrogation in captivity. This proves the nonpartisan investigations on the part of Pakistan. It further weakens the stance of India to assemble the international support.

Since, India has no much options left to counter the case diplomatically, it might rely on some “other options”. A glimpse of it can be sensed by the disappearance of Retired Pakistan Army Lieutenant Colonel Habib Zahir from Nepal near Indo-Nepal Border. Ironically, his disappearance resulted after the death sentence awarded to Jadhav. Secondly, India has also halted the release of some Pakistani prisoners after the verdict on Jadhav. So where Pakistan could use Jadhav as a bargaining tool, India countered it by allegedly apprehending Habib Zahir. Still the statement on the Pakistan side clears that “no compromise” shall be made. From this, the situation is getting harsh from both sides and could further escalate the tensions. The hardening of stance may get extreme if the joint conclusion wouldn’t be made.

Thus, the day to day agitation on borders and the growing tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, who has become quite closer to India, can interrupt the advancement of the State of Pakistan. Pakistan’s decision is proving against the clock which brought the relations of it with India at the bottom of the ladder. The propaganda mechanics are likely to be emerged out from their shell and the clouds of conflict may hover over the subcontinent. To avoid the catastrophe, Pakistan should conduct Jadhav’s trial in Supreme Court under the observation of International Team and should take Iran into confidence as well so not only it gets support but will also confine India to export the spies. Following the procedure which is acceptable to all, Pakistan might get a historical achievement in countering and reversing the Indian claim which terms Pakistan as a state which sponsors terrorism.

The writer is the BS HONS student of International Relations at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. His main focus is regarding the developments in socio-political changes of Subcontinent and Middle East. He is also an academic writer and freelancer.

This article does not reflect the views and opinions of the Weekly Pakistan and is the sole intellectual property of the writer.

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