While the chances of Kulbhushan Jadhav being hanged by Pakistan are slim, there is also very little possibility that he will be released, human rights activists here said on Monday.
“What the Pakistan Army has done is raise the stakes to publicly embarrass both the (Nawaz) Sharif and the (Narendra) Modi governments," said one of them, who asked not to be named.
The announcement by the army to sentence Jadhav to death was widely hailed in Pakistan by various quarters. Many have called for his immediate hanging. “This shows the decisive action of the army,” commented TV anchor Dr Shahid Masood.
Human rights organisations have privately expressed their fears over the decision by the military, given that there has been no outside observers involved in the process.
“It is a sham,” said a leading rights activist who added that the civilian government was not taken into confidence over this decision.
So far, spies have not been hanged by the government “but there is always a first time,” commented one analyst.
Observers say that the military high command could use Jadhav to get concessions from the Modi government. “Its another sign to show who really is in control in Pakistan,” said the analyst.