Kulbhushan Jadhav sentenced to death: Rescue should be a priority as Pakistan nefariously tires to 'irritate' India

Let's get one thing straight. The moment the Pakistanis caught Kulbhushan Jadhav and trumped up the charges, the writing was clear on the wall. He was going to be used as a patsy and it would be payback time for the hanging of Ajmal Kasab in 2012.

There is very little percentage in getting agitated whether in Parliament or on the streets. Showing our "upset" side is exactly the aim of the Pakistani exercise in spurious jurisprudence and even they know they do not have a case.

But the "make India jump" option has to be exercised because it is central to the Pakistan triumvirate's policy towards India. This unholy trinity will never spare an occasion to rattle India's cage.

A file photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. PTI

A file photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. PTI

Also, Islamabad firmly believes that India will not cross the thin red line which it did in September last year with eight surgical strikes. Over the past six months the pressure from India has eased up not just on Balochistan but also in the general scheme of things. Indian soldiers being pelted with stones in Jammu and Kashmir and a certain open house on slanging India combined with a relative silence from New Delhi has allowed Pakistan to pull in the slack and move towards creating a bargaining chip in the form of Jadhav. But Pakistan shall squirrel away till it can use Jadhav on the gaming table.

That the swift verdict came just a few days after US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, stated that Washington would like to formulate a role for itself in the Indo-Pak equation could be a coincidence, but the fact that Haley is a Trump confidante and an Indian American to boot would have caused a certain amount of consternation. Ergo, let's press the Indian buttons a bit and get them on the backfoot. Especially since Haley speaks for the US president and has ominously indicated that the US does not feel it prudent to wait for something to happen before it steps in. Rather it would wish to pre-empt another armed conflict.

Also, we tend to be forgiving and set that softness to music so that it is seen as a weakness. The attention given to Indian school children sending the longest love letter and continuing an enterprise that began in 2001 seems surreal under the circumstances.

Despite evidence to the contrary the mindset in Pakistan is cemented of India being less warrior like, lacking the killer instinct and not ready to go for the jugular.

Even now the thinking with reference to Jadhav would be to gauge the unfolding of India's reactions and choreograph their moves accordingly. They will keep playing "whack the mole" to irritate India.

It is utterly pointless to make comparisons between the way we handled Kasab judiciously as per international law and this absurd travesty, but that is exactly Pakistan's point: we will do what we want. Tum kya karoge.

What India should do is go behind the scenes and drum up global support to have Jadhav released. Don't let Islamabad see the cards in our hand and avoid being transparent. Hurt them in the bottom line and pile on commercial pressure.

Nothing annoys the trinity more than not knowing what India is thinking. That's when it gets on the backfoot and flounders in the dark. It's time we learnt not to wear our hearts on our sleeve.

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Updated Date: Apr 11, 2017 18:08:14 IST

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