Kulbhushan Jadhav has been sentenced to death in Pakistan, by Pakistan, for undertaking activities inimical to Pakistan.
Already, this has skidded a bilateral relationship that has slipped and fallen many times over. Executing or even pushing a prolonged battle to execute or punish Jadhav is a myopic plan. By doing this, Pakistan is shooting itself in the foot.
Here is why: India and Pakistan share many environmental commons — bio-diversity, rivers, vagrancies of climate change and an ecological heritage. In fact, these environmental links are deeper than we imagine because disruption of these in one country will result in challenges in the other.
The dispute over the Indus Waters Treaty, which Pakistan wants to re-negotiate in the post-climate change world, is only one case in point.
The great Indian bustard, one of the rarest birds in the region of India and Pakistan, is on the verge of extinction.
It requires joint efforts, apart from intense individual effort by each country, to ensure the bird flourishes. How is any of this imaginable in a situation of proxy war?
Pakistan needs India if it wants to adequately fight environmental crises and make life better for its people. And both countries must build mutual co-operation and safeguard their territories from joint enemies like climate change. The people of Pakistan deserve nothing less.
But to get this going, Jadhav has to be returned alive and such provocation has to be set aside for the sake of people.
(The writer is founder and director of Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group)