An Indian lawmaker has urged the government to declare Pakistan's Balochistan province as a separate nation after Islamabad sentenced a suspected Indian spy – Kulbhushan Jadhav – to death on Monday, 10 April.

India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday (11 April) said: "Pak has selected Jadhav saying that he was trying to create problems in Balochistan. India should now declare Balochistan an independent country," he said. "There are enough Balochis in Delhi who can be asked to form a government in exile. Ultimately Pakistan will end up in four pieces."

Meanwhile, India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that the country will go "out of way" to ensure justice to Jhadav. She also warned Pakistan that if the sentencing goes ahead, it would affect the bilateral relations between the countries.

Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer, was arrested by Pakistani authorities in March 2016 and was charged with espionage for his activities in Balochistan.

A statement by the Pakistan armed forces said Jadhav had confessed to working for Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), to "plan, coordinate and organize espionage / sabotage activities aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan".

People living in the restive province of Balochistan have alleged that since its annexation by Pakistan in 1948, the country "has made life difficult for Baloch by target killings, indiscriminate bombardment and enforced-disappearances".

In the past, they have also held a number of protests for independence, and have urged the UN to probe the "Pakistani state's aggression against Balochs".

On the other hand, Pakistan has claimed that it has evidence that India backs terrorism in Balochistan. The Islamic nation has also accused India for unrest in the region.

Subramanian Swamy
Subramanian Swamy has called on the Centre to recognise Balochistan as an independent country - File photo REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma