India army chief Bipin Rawat
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers walk during night patrol near the fenced border with Pakistan in Abdullian, southwest of Jammu Mukesh Gupta/Reuters

A Pakistani military court in a rare move on Monday, 10 April sentenced a suspected Indian spy to death amid the ongoing tensions between the two nuclear power enabled neighbours. Pakistan's army chief confirmed the harsh punishment, which is been seen as a strong message to India.

"The spy was tried through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and awarded the death sentence. Today Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed his death sentence awarded by FGCM," Pakistani army's media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

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

Though New Delhi had acknowledged he was formerly working the navy, the government officially denied any links to his activities.

Islamabad had earlier said Jadhav was engaged in "subversive and terrorist activities in Pakistan".

A purported video was also released soon after Jadhav's arrest confessing to spying activities and stoking unrest in Balochistan province. The retired naval officer also reportedly confessed that he was operating on behalf of India's premier spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing, in front of a magistrate. India has disputed these accounts as well.

"There are foreign elements involved in terrorist activities in Balochistan. I believe this is a good decision," Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti told the Dawn following the judgement. The move is bound to infuriate India, which is yet to officially respond.