Spare Kulbushan Jadav

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Mr Jadav is an Indian who is in Pakistan under sentence of death. Jadav was arrested over a year ago in Pakistan and charged with espionage. Jadav’s surname is sometimes spelt Yadav.

K Jadav gave an interview on Pakistani TV. In this interview this gentleman said he was an officer in the Indian Navy. He claimed that he was then recruited into the Research and Analysis Wing – that is the Indian secret service. The story goes that Jadav retired from the navy and worked for RAW. He was sent to Iran to set up a business in a town close to the Pakistani border. This gave him an excuse to be there and to mix with Pakisanis. This is near Baluchistan. There has been an insurgency in Baluchistan on and off since the 70s.

K Jadav does not blink when he speaks about matters other than espionage. When he speaks about his alleged spying activities he starts to blink. He may well have been in intelligence in the navy. His claim to have come to Pakistan many times is probably specious.

When Jadav makes controversial statements he is not shown speaking. The video cuts to show him smiling but not speaking as the audio carries on. He says things which emphasise how much he hurt people – ”killing and maiming.” He uses the phrase ”anti national” and ”criminal”. This seems like a script prepared for him by the ISI. It is the way they would want him to describe things.

Is Jadav to be believed? The ISI would have us credit his words. No doubt these are words put in his mouth. If Yadav crossed the border under false documentation several times and was in Pak undetected for years what does this say about the Pakistani police and the ISI?

Why was this man interviewed in English? If the accused really lived in Pak and was not unmasked for several years he must speak flawless Urdu or some other language of the country such as Pashto. In that case the ISI could have had him speak one of those tongues. He did not speak another language in the interview because he cannot. If he was unable to speak Urdu then his false identity would have been penetrated straightway. Pakistanis do not speak ENglish to each other unless they are the elite.  He would have aroused suspicion by his inability to converse in Urdu. He can only speak his mother tongue Marathi besides English.

The ISI is very keen to stress that the Baluch Students’ Organisation is Indian directed.

The ISI was smart enough not to have bruises showing. The man is clean and well dressed. They want it to make it seem like he has not been harmed. Despite all this he might indeed be a spy. Was he arrested in Pakistan? This is probable. Either that or he was kidnapped from Iran. Pakistan would probably not do this because it would affront their friend Iran.

The man said he is confessing because he wants to make a clean breast of it. He wants to get out of the situation. He says that he has not been pressurised into making this statement. This surely proves that he was forced to make the statement. He cannot have believed that if he said this he would be freed.

The Pakistani Government has long accused the Government of India of fomenting rebellion in Baluchistan. Such allegations are not hard to credit. India assisted the Bangladeshi uprising. Pakistan has helped Kashmiri separatists and Sikh separatists. WHy would India not succour a revolt in Pak? This distracts and weakens Pak.

Even if India does abbet this revolt this does not mean that this man is guilty. In the interview some of what he says comes across as true. He is relaxed and speaks rapidly as he recalls real things such as being in the National Defence Academy. When it comes to his so called spying he speaks more slowly. He has to struggle. Perhaps he has to remember his lines. Was he forced to make a false confession? Why would a man confess to this when he knows that such a statement will bring about his death?

Inter Services Intelligence is the Pakistani secret service. The ISI is notorious for its tortures. They may well have used barbarous means to induce this man to implicate himself in spying.

Even if Jadav is guilty he ought to be spared. India has not executed someone for years. Pakistan should be so humane.

One of the Mumbai attackers were hanged. He was put up to his crimes by the ISI. Perhaps Pakistan wants revenge.

In India there will be a strong campaign to save this man. Pakistan can use him as a bargaining chip. Make concessions in other areas India, or this man gets it in the neck.

There may well be a hidden agenda. Elements of the ISI who are opposed to a rapprochement in Indian see Jadav as a means of damaging relations with India.

India proves her moral superiority by very seldom hanging people. Pak does herself no favours by hanging many men even for crimes such as drug dealing or blasphemy. Trials are often farcical. Were this man to be punished with death it would be a fiasco for Pak’s already tarnished international image.

Yadav could have been tortured. He could have been psychologically broken during his year in captivity. He may be mentally ill and a Walter Mitty sort of a man. He has had no legal representation for months and no visits from Indian diplomats were permitted. This gentleman has been given a show trial. It is a gross insult to due process. He needs justice.

The video confession of Yadav is of no testimonial value. It has no evidential merit since it was made without access to legal counsel. No court worth the name would admit such evidence. It could well have been extracted under threats of the severest mistreatment or indeed by actual gross abuse.

It could be that he is guilty. But one must presume innocence. Let this man have a fair trial which meets with international standards.

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About Calers

Born Belfast 1971. I read history at Edinburgh. I did a Master's at UCL. I have semi-libertarian right wing opinions. I am married with a daughter and a son. I am allergic to cats. I am the falling hope of the not so stern and somewhat bending Tories. I am a legal beagle rather than and eagle. Big up the Commonwealth of Nations.

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