A Pakistani Military Court on Monday awarded death-sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav, for alleged espionage in Pakistan and inciting violence in Balochistan.
In a demarche issued by the Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, India noted that the sentence will be treated as premeditated murder if carried out.
India further slammed the court proceedings as farcical, withholding an earlier planned release of Pakistani prisoners on Wednesday.
Why is this important?
Recent events including Pak-sponsored terrorists attack on Indian defence installations and retaliatory surgical strikes conducted by India have caused strain in bilateral relations.
India is also said to be aiding and fuelling the Baloch separatist movement and establishing broader regional presence through strengthened ties with Iran, thereby keeping Pakistan in check
Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav?
Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, a Mumbai native is believed to be a Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) agent. A Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Navy, he is said to have sought retirement in 2013 to start his own business.
At the time of his arrest at the Iran-Pakistan border in March 2016, he held an Indian passport in the name of Hussein Mubarak Patel.
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What did Pakistan allege?
Pakistan claims that Jadhav was running a terrorist training financing network operating from Chabahar (Iran), Makran (Pakistan) and adjacent districts in Afghanistan.
Running a cargo business out of Chabahar and Bandar-Abbas ports in Iran, Jadhav worked towards orchestrating subversive activities in the region.
According to Pakistan's Inter-services Public Relations Wing (ISPR), "Jadhav has been held guilty for waging war against the country".
Evidence or no evidence?
Pakistan's Foreign Policy Advisor Sartaj Aziz, while speaking to the Parliament in December 2016 noted, "dossier on Jadhav contained mere statements" and didn't have any conclusive evidence". Only a few hours later, Pakistan denied the statement.
What does India say?
According to the demarche issued to the Pak High Commissioner, Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran in 2016, with Pakistan being unable to produce credible evidence against him.
India maintains that Jadhav's confession tape of him admitting to acting "at the behest of R&AW" in Pakistan is doctored.
So far a total of 13 requests for consular access have been repeatedly denied by Pakistani authorities.
Other espionage cases
A number of Pakistani citizens have been arrested in India on espionage charges although none of them have been sentenced in India. On the other hand, Pakistan has given out death sentence in many cases including Sheikh Shamim in 1999 and Sarabjit Singh in 2013.
Kulbhushan Jadhav's death sentence stayed by International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Tuesday stayed the hanging of Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court for spying.
India had appealed to the ICJ that it was unaware of Jadhav's detention for a long time; Jadhav, too, wasn't informed of his rights.
Pakistan also violated the Vienna Convention by denying India its right of consular access to Jadhav.
India Pakistan Relations