UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Wednesday declined comments on the death sentence handed down to a convicted Indian spy who was arrested in Pakistan last year and charged with espionage and sabotage, saying the world body was not in position to judge this case.
"We are not in a position to judge the process to have a position on this particular case," the UN Secretary-General's spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in response to a question from an Indian journalist at the regular noon press briefing, while referring to Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav's sentencing.
When the Indian journalist drew the spokesman's attention to the heightened New Delhi-Islamabad tensions following the verdict against Jadhav by Field General Court-Martial, as also to threats hurled by New Delhi against Pakistan, he calls for a dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.
"Overall in terms of relations between India and Pakistan, we underline, continue to underline the need for the parties to find a peaceful solution and to engage through engagement and dialogue," the spokesman added.
Jadhav was arrested in March 2016 in Balochistan where he was accused of running a clandestine terror network within the province and of participating in various activities meant to destabilize the country.
He confessed before a magistrate that he was assigned by India's spy agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, or RAW, "to plan and organize espionage and sabotage activities" in Balochistan and Karachi.
On Tuesday, the Indian ministry of external affairs reacted sharply to the Pakistani announcement, issuing a protest to Pakistan's high commissioner in New Delhi, which said if the sentence were carried out, "the government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder.
"Rejecting the Indian claims that Jadhav's execution would be "pre-meditated murder", Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said due process of law had been followed in the case.