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Pakistan justifies death sentence to Indian 'spy'; India warns of consequences

Tensions between India and Pakistan flared with Pakistan on Tuesday justifying the death sentence awarded to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and said it was capable of protecting itself against "external threats". India has warned Pakistan that bilateral ties would be hit and Islamabad would have to face consequences if it went ahead with the death sentence awarded to Jadhav, who Islamabad says was arrested in Balochistan in March 2016.

Apr 11, 2017
Tensions between India and Pakistan flared with Pakistan on Tuesday justifying the death sentence awarded to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and said it was capable of protecting itself against "external threats". India has warned Pakistan that bilateral ties would be hit and Islamabad would have to face consequences if it went ahead with the death sentence awarded to Jadhav, who Islamabad says was arrested in Balochistan in March 2016.
 
 India denies he was a spy and says he was abducted from Iran.  Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reiterated that if Jadhav was hanged, it would amount to premeditated murder.
 
Pakistan was "fully equipped" to deal with all such "elements with an iron fist", Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told the Senate in retaliation. And in an obvious reference to Indian warnings of consequences if Jadhav was hanged, he added: "We will defend our country at all costs."
 
 Asif insisted that the trial of Jadhav, accused of espionage and waging war against Pakistan, followed due legal process.
 
 "There was nothing in the (legal) proceedings that was against the law," he was quoted by the Urdu media as saying.
 
 "The trial went on for three months," he said, adding that Pakistan would not grant concessions to elements working against the country.
 
 Meanwhile, oppositon Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, a former minister in India and former UN undersecretary general, slammed Pakistan for the death sentence, terming it an "assault" on international laws and conventions.
 
"What Pakistan is doing is not only an assault on India, it is an assault on international laws, international conventions that affect everybody.
 
 "There are certain countries that finance and arm the Pakistani military. Those countries must be told by us that if this can be done to an Indian today, it can be done to one of their nationals tomorrow," Tharoor said in the Lok Sabha.
 
 "The extremely important thing for us is to uphold the principles. Thirteen times this gentleman was denied consular access, which is a basic right.
 
 "Geneva conventions have been violated by Pakistan... This is an extremely serious matter," he added.
 
 The opposition and the treasury benches in Parliament on Tuesday jointly expressed solidarity with Jadhav, who was awarded capital punishment by a Pakistani Field General Court Martial on Monday. 

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