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Parliamentarians speak in one voice on Jadhav sentencing

India on Tuesday warned Pakistan to consider the "consequences" on their ties if Kulbhushan Jadhav is hanged in the alleged espionage case and vowed to go "out of the way" to save him amid an outrage in this country.

The death sentence awarded to Jadhav by a Pakistani military court after declaring him a "spy" echoed in both Houses of Parliament where all parties came together to condemn the "indefensible" verdict and pressed the government to take every step to help him.

Outside Parliament, the Congress urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mount diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to secure the release of the 46-year-old former Naval officer.

Protests against the death sentence were also staged outside the Pakistan High Commission here. The protesters were led by Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla.

In Parliament, the government, as well as the opposition, saw the capital punishment as an attempt to defame India and to deflect the attention of the international community from Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a statement in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, asserting that India will go "out of the way" to ensure justice to Jadhav who is an "innocent kidnapped Indian".

Jadhav's execution will be taken by India as a "pre-meditated murder" and Pakistan should "consider its consequences" on bilateral relations if it proceeds on this matter, Swaraj warned.

She said the charges against Jadhav, who was doing business in Iran and was kidnapped and taken to Pakistan, are "concocted" and the trial against him was "farcical", leading to an "indefensible verdict".

"Let me state clearly that the government and the people of India would view very seriously the possibility that an innocent Indian citizen is facing a death sentence in Pakistan without due process and in violation of basic norms of law, justice and international relations," she said.

In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, while expressing outrage over the development, said the Indian government should provide Jadhav with the best of the lawyers to ensure that the truth prevails.

Responding to this, the External Affairs Minister said the government will not only ensure that Jadhav is provided with the best of lawyers in the Supreme Court of Pakistan but will also take it up with the President of Pakistan.

Earlier in the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government will do everything possible to get justice for Jadhav.

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