In a shocking announcement, the ISPR has confirmed that arrested Indian agent Kulbhushan Yadav has been sentenced to death. The spy has been sentenced due to his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan and was tried through laws of Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under Pakistan Army Act (PAA). He confessed that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and execute activities to destabilise and sabotage stability in Pakistan.

This is a very strong message by Pakistan to India and the international community that it will not take Indian interference lightly. There is no denying that this was the right decision but there will be repercussions. However, with PM Modi and the BJP spewing vitriol about Pakistan without provocation, and it becoming clear that Indian’s claim of a ‘No first strike’ policy is a lie, there is not much worse that India can do. It is already killing Kashmiris with impunity (with 8 dead and hundreds more injured as Indian security personnel open fired on protestors on Monday), and it has already pitted Afghanistan against Pakistan, to the detriment of Afghan trade and social cohesion.

The Indian Foreign Ministry termed the move to execute Yadav a “premeditated murder” and said, “If this sentence against an Indian citizen, awarded without observing basic norms of law and justice, is carried out, the government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder.” The statement reads like a denial of the fact that he was even an Indian citizen, yet the outrage and lies are unmistakable. The blind criticism of a law-abiding state where an Indian was caught with what India claims is a fake Indian passport is low, even for India. India has never denied that Yadav is a citizen and PM Modi’s critics later said “owning up” that he was even in the armed forces was a strategic mistake.

It can be argued that the peace process between the countries will take a hit, but in reality there is no peace process. Sartaj Aziz, PM Sharif’s adviser on foreign affairs, was heckled when he arrived in Amritsar, India for the Heart of Asia conference in December. There are concerns that India is using covert means to foment violence in the country with an aim to undermine CPEC. By all local statements of BJP stalwarts, India wants Pakistan to be destroyed. Why should Pakistan pull any punches, when it is constantly demonised and humiliated by its violent neighbour?