The sentencing of Kulbhushan Jadhav – the Indian Navy officer who was working for India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and was arrested in March last year – to death by Field General Court Martial (FGCM) on Monday has raised a hornet’s nest across the border, as it was expected to. Indian politicians have started a campaign to pressure the government into taking action and the India’s Ministry of External Affairs has said that will go to any lengths to save Jadhav. The protest from Delhi is expected to get louder the closer the date of the execution gets. At this moment however, that date isn’t final, neither is the execution itself – there are several moving parts to this case and Mr Jadhav fate is not set in stone.

The apparent factor here is that Mr Jadhav still has the right to appeal the decision – to either military or civilian authorities. Rejecting the Indian claims that Jadhav’s execution would be “pre-meditated murder”, the Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif has pointed out how every legal protection was offered and protocol followed. Mr Jadhav was appointed a legal consul and was given a trial by a competent authority; it is his own confession that did the most damage.

Another wrinkle in the fold here is the speech made by the Prime Minister at Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Risalpur campus, where he remarked “cooperation rather than conflict and shared prosperity instead of suspicion are the hallmark[s] of our policy.” These peaceful overtures stand in stark contrast over the rest of the conversation surrounding the Indian spy, but taking in conjunction with his following comments on the need for a political solution for Kashmir one could perhaps glean a purpose behind such cooperation minded stances.

For Pakistan, there is a bigger game at play here; countering Indian subversive activities in Karachi and Balochistan is surely a priority, but forcing India to the negotiating table over Kashmir is one too. Having gotten India to claim ownership of Jadhav – and by extension his spying activities – Pakistan after the longest time is in the position to dictate the media narrative over this case, and it must do this expertly.

The Prime Minister and the Defence Minister have not held out an olive branch per se, but have left open the possibility that one might be held out in the future. All India needs to do is to tone down the hawkish stances and come to the table willing to talk Kashmir.