Pak armed forces prepared to respond to any threat: Sharif

| Updated: Apr 11, 2017 21:37 IST

Risalpur [Pakistan], Apr. 11 (ANI): In his first statement after announcing of death sentence to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the country's armed forces are fully capable of responding to any threat. Describing Pakistan as a peace loving country, Sharif said that Islamabad has always maintained a policy of having friendly relations with other countries, particularly its neighbors. Sharif was addressing a passing out parade of cadets at Asghar Khan PAF Academy in Risalpur on Tuesday, reports Radio Pakistan. Expressing satisfaction over the success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorism, Sharif said it has brought about a tremendous improvement in the internal security environment. Sharif's statement came hours after India's External Affairs Sushma Swaraj warned Islamabad not to go ahead with the death sentence, which New Delhi would see as an act of "pre-mediated murder". On Monday, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and issued a demarche against Pakistan for awarding a death sentence to Kulbhsuan Jadhav. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the Indian High Commission in Islamabad was not even informed about Jadhav's trial before the court. The ministry added that the subsequent presence of Jadhav, who was kidnapped last year from Iran, has never been explained credibly by the Pakistani authorities. "The proceedings that have led to the sentence against Jadhav are farcical in the absence of any credible evidence against him. Senior Pakistani figures have themselves cast doubt about the adequacy of the evidence," an official release stated. With a united opposition raising the issue of death sentence given to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav by the military court in Pakistan, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday assured the Lok Sabha that the Centre would do everything possible to ensure that the former gets justice. Condemning the death sentence, Singh told the Lower House how Jadhav could be a spy when he had a valid visa. He also took on Pakistan for denying consular access to Jadhav. "Basic norms of law and justice were violated. I want to tell the House that the government will do whatever it takes to make sure Kulbhushan Jadhav gets justice," Singh said. "Countries that finance Pakistan should realize that Pakistan can do this to them too," he added while hinting at the United States. Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj slammed the death sentence as "an indefensible verdict" and warned Pakistan to "consider the consequences" of the case on its relations with India. On the other hand, the Congress warned the Centre that if Pakistan hangs Kulbhushan then it's a murder. "If Pakistan hangs Kulbhushan Jadhav then it is murder. The government will be seen as weak if it cannot free him," said Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge. AIMIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on his part said it is the joint responsibility of all to save Jadhav. "The government has influence, please use it. Will the government make every effort to save him? It is our joint responsibility to save him," he said. (ANI)

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