Reactions in Pakistan to news that Indian agent Kulbhushan Jadhav was handed a death sentence for espionage were largely nationalistic.
Analysts and politicians talking to mainstream television channels in Pakistan were unanimous in welcoming the decision. While some feel the reaction from India will be strong, others maintain there will be no dramatic shift in the relationship.
‘There will be a reaction’
Lieutenant General (retired) Talat Masood said:
“For a long time now Pakistan has struggled to prove India’s involvement in Pakistan’s destabilisation.
Our ambassadors have gone to various countries looking for help in that matte and showed them proof but to no avail. Now that we have made our move, which is the right thing to do, we should brace for India’s retaliation.
The decision is right, it is by the law and justified in legal terms, however, we should brace ourselves as there will be reaction, on international forums and Pakistan should even be prepared for a spike in Line of Control violations.”
‘No drastic change’
Political analyst Air Marshal (retired) Shahzad Chaudhry said:
“I do not think our ties with India would change as a result of this decision.
There are many other issues that the two countries have between them.
I think both countries should agree that there is much to be discussed and look past this and the situation would remain as it is, that would be the sensible thing to do.”
‘Pakistan should share evidence’
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.
Secondly, why is everyone talking about an Indian reaction already? My belief is that India should be sensible and not react to the news at all.
If people remember when Ajmal Kasab was sentenced, Pakistan had remained silent about the whole thing.
No political party or institution in Pakistan condemned the act. Our prerogative was simple, if there is evidence against Kassab then he should be sentenced according to the Indian law.
So India should be sensible, not react to the news, not try to paint Jadhav as a hero, the media should take that same tone.”
‘Pakistan shouldn’t back down’
Senior PPP leader and Senator Rehman Malik said:
“We are a sovereign state and have a law that governs us. If the law has found Jadhav guilty then we have the right to sentence him to death and the sentence should be carried out.
We should not back down to any pressure, Indian or international and make sure that the sentence is carried out.
Those who are apprehensive about the move are forgetting that Modi openly admitted that India had a hand in breaking up Pakistan into two parts.”
‘Nation is united on decision’
Asad Umer, member Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf said:
“The whole nation will support the decision to hang Kulbhushan Jadhav, it is the right decision.
However, the time is right to bring up the matter of Indian interference in the UN now so that a sustainable solution to the problem can be sought.”
‘Sentence is a warning’
Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif said:
“If India takes the matter up internationally Pakistan will defend its decision.
Kulbhushan’s sentence is a warning for anyone with anti-Pakistan sentiment. The justice system will come down on people working to sabotage Pakistan with full force,” Asif said while speaking to Geo News.
‘RAW will go on back-foot after this’
Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti said:
“Of course the decision sends out a powerful message, it warns people against challenging the writ of the state. I think RAW will now go on the back-foot once the decision is carried out.”