New Delhi: India on Monday decided to not release about a dozen Pakistani prisoners, who were to be repatriated on Wednesday, hours after Pakistani army chief approved execution of Indian national Kulbhusan Jadhav for alleged “espionage and sabotage” activities.
The move immediately escalated tension between India and Pakistan. “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,” the Foreign Ministry said.
Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned to protest at the conviction and sentence. India has said it was repeatedly denied access to Mr Jadhav.
Earlier on Monday, Pakistan said it will execute Jadhav who allegedly confessed to spying for Indian intelligence. Jadhav, who also goes by the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, was arrested in the south-western province of Balochistan last year.
He was found guilty at a court-martial which was closed to the public and sentenced to death.
“Today, (army chief) Gen. Qamer Javed Bajwa has confirmed his death sentence,” a military statement said, without stating when the execution would take place.