Pakistan Military Court decides to murder Kuldeep Jadhav. Is India helpless?
NEW DELHI: Pakistani military courts have, over the last two years, gained disrepute of not being transparent and violating all provisions of a fair trial.
The Indian security establishment is of the opinion that Kulbhushan Jadhav was tried by a “nontransparent” Pakistani military court, established soon after the December 2014 attack on an army-run school in Peshawar, as the Pakistani government did not have enough evidence to prove its claims about Jadhav being an Indian spy in a civilian court.
In fact, the flimsy evidence against Jadhav was revealed by Sartaj Aziz, adviser to the Pakistani PM, when he told a Senate chamber in December 2016 that Pakistan’s dossier against the retired Indian naval officer+ contained “mere statements” and no conclusive evidence.
Pakistan’s claims of Jadhav being tasked by Indian agencies to organise espionage and sabotage activities on its soil have been denied by India+ and other countries.
German ambassador to Pakistan Gunter Mulack had said that Jadhav had been actually caught by the Taliban in Iran and sold to Pakistani intelligence. Sources said no information was shared regarding Jadhav’s ongoing trial by the Field General Court Martial under the Pakistan Army Act.
Statistics shared with media show that of the 274 convictions since February 2015 by these courts, 161 were sentenced to death. Of these, 144 convicts had “confessed” to their crimes. “Not only were these trials kept under wraps, but the accused also did not have the right to appeal, which is a key component of a free and fair trial,” an official of the Indian security establishment said.
Pakistani military courts were set up in 2014 for speedy trial in terror cases. Through a constitutional amendment, its Parliament then voted to empower these courts to try civilians accused of terrorism. Yet, at the end of the two-year period in January 2017, the army pushed the government to extend the validity of these courts for another two years.