Islamabad: The death sentence for Indian Kulbhushan Jadhav was today described as "unprecedented" by the Pakistani media. Yesterday, a Pakistan military court sentenced Mr Jadhav to death after he was convicted of "espionage and sabotage activities". India has condemned the verdict as "indefensible" with Home Minister Rajnath Singh pledging that the government will do "whatever it takes" to save Mr Jadhav, who is 46.
- "Unprecedented," says Pak media on death sentence for Kulbhushan Jadhav
- Kulbhushan Jadhav was convicted of "espionage and sabotage activities"
- India says there is no evidence of Mr Jadhav's alleged espionage
The sentence was confirmed by Pakistan's army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa. India says there is no evidence of Mr Jadhav's alleged espionage and has denounced the proceedings against him as "farcical."
Pakistan's English-language newspaper "The Nation" said on its front page "Death to spy spikes tensions"; it quoted political and defence analyst Dr Hassan Askari as saying that the decision to execute Mr Jadhav would "further increase tension between the two countries."
"The military has given a severe punishment which is according to Pakistani law," Mr Askari said. "But we will have to see if Pakistan can sustain the political and diplomatic fallout."
'The Nation' is owned by Nawa-i-Qawt group, which is traditionally aligned to Pakistani establishment and is known for a strong anti-India stand.
The Express Tribune termed the decision as "unprecedented". It reported that the decision immediately sparked a bitter diplomatic spat between the two "hostile" neighbours.
The influential Dawn newspaper termed the decision as a "rare move". The paper said that the development comes at a time when tensions between Pakistan and India are already running high. It published a full column on what experts feel about the decision.
Political analyst Air Marshal (retired) Shahzad Chaudhry said, "I do not think our ties with India would change as a result of this decision".
Hamid Mir, senior journalist at Geo News said, "First of all, Pakistan should make the evidence found against the spy public, share it with the country and also internationally."
(with inputs from PTI)