With Kulbhushan Jadhav’s Life In The Balance, What India And Pakistan Need To Do

Posted by Sourav Preetam Singh
May 31, 2017

In the past few days, many news channels in India and Pakistan have been telecasting the news of a former Indian navy officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav. Kulbhushan was arrested on March 3, 2016, on charges of conducting various acts of espionage and terrorism, and also of inciting the rebels of Balochistan.

He was arrested at Balochistan, following an intelligence raid conducted by Pakistan Army. Later, India refuted the allegations, instead saying that he had been kidnapped from Iran, brought to Pakistan and then, false allegations were framed against him.

The news of RAW agents getting arrested in Pakistan is not at all new. Some Bollywood movies also use such a plot to depict the heroic and cowardly features of India and Pakistan, respectively. In the past years, Bollywood has made films on people like Sarabjit Singh (a biopic) and Ravindra Kaushik (the Salman Khan-starring “Ek Tha Tiger” was allegedly based on this).

The Pakistan government is being severely criticised for sentencing Kulbhushan to death. A recent video of Kulbhushan also surfaced, in which he admits to being a RAW agent and also allegedly speaks of his involvement in creating turmoil in Balochistan. It must be noted that the present-day status of Balochistan is similar to that of Kashmir. Since Pakistan has levelled accusations of inciting Balochistan rebel leaders, India is also similarly training its guns against Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.

Issues related to terrorism have always bothered Pakistan because their own intelligence bureau, the ISI, itself has been accused of grooming many terrorists. Even Osama Bin Laden was caught in the midst of military quarters in Abbottabad. Ajmal Kasab was also a Pakistan national who was trained and sent on a mission to attack Mumbai. Later on, he admitted to his crimes during an interrogation, and many of the calls and conversations he made were shared publicly, which was then brodcasted on several channels across India.

Even with the many proofs that the Indian government had at their disposal, it took nearly four years to execute Kasab. On the other hand, Kulbhushan Jadhav was convicted within an amazingly short time. Besides, he never got a chance to defend himself. Even Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Sartaj Aziz admitted that the dossier didn’t contain any ‘conclusive evidence’ of Kulbhushan’s ‘spying’ and ‘terrorist’ activities.

Despite these glaring inconsistencies, the Indian government claimed to not being given consular access to Kulbhushan. It also claimed that the alleged ‘video confession’ had been forcefully recorded to reveal India’s ‘involvement’ in such questionable activities. Furthermore, former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf termed Kulbhushan to be a bigger terrorist than Kasab, and that Pakistan should not have appeared before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

However, with its strong proofs and efficient claims, India was successful in putting the death order on hold at ICJ court. No matter what the status of both these countries is, their relations will never improve if particular remedies aren’t sought for. India and Pakistan can peacefully sign a water-sharing deal – but become enemies when it comes to border issues or terrorism issues. In fact, the Indian army has had to suffer a lot because of terrorist activities, allegedly initiated by Pakistan.

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case has again sparked nationwide anti-Pakistan sentiments in India. Therefore, Pakistan should first strive to work out an honourable and amicable solution, instead of repeatedly trying to prove India’s involvement in helping Balochistan’s rebels.

Since the Pakistan government has denied any consular access to Kulbhushan many times, it’s actually a very relevant question whether India will be able to save Kulbhushan from being executed, at all. The shadow of Sarabjit Singh still looms large. After all, Sarbjit was murdered by jail inmates, after his release had been delayed.

Even though it is yet to be proved whether Kulbhushan was actually a spy or not, the sensation that has already been created in and by the media is a different matter, altogether. However, what remains to be seen yet is whether Pakistan honourably obeys ICJ’s order, or executes Kulbhushan, thereby justifying claims that it’s a ‘hostile’ nation, after all.