A White House petition has been launched seeking US intervention to ensure Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer sentenced to death in Pakistan for alleged spying, “doesn’t get punished for the act which he never committed”.
The petition that started on April 14 needs 96,984 more signatures by May 14 to qualify for a response from the administration. Reports have said that the new US administration is mulling the very fate of this practice of petitioning the White House, which was started by President Barack Obama in 2011.
None of the petitions launched since President Donald Trump took office have gotten a response. White House communications director Mike Dubke told US News the fate of the practice was “under review”.
If the Trump administration does decide to continue it and with the same rules, the Jadhav petition will need 100,000 unique signatures in 30 days from the day of its launch to get a response from the White House, which may or may not accept the demand.
This petition, “To save Kulbhushan Jhadav from death sentence awarded by Pakistan millitry (military)”, was started by an individual identified only by the initials “S.S”, who doesn’t indicate if he or she is Indian American, and says it seeks “justice” for Jadhav.
“I humbly request appropriate and capable authorities to intervene in the matter and make sure that Mr Kulbhushan Jadhav doesn’t get punished for the act which he never committed. I also United Nation(s) to look into this matter.”
India called the charges against Jadhav “farcical”. In a demarche issued on Monday, New Delhi has said, “If this sentence against an Indian citizen, awarded without observing basic norms of law and justice, is carried out, the government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder.”
“The proceedings that have led to the sentence against Jadhav are farcical in the absence of any credible evidence against him. It is significant that our high commission was not even informed that Jadhav was being brought to trial.”