Pak releases new video of Jadhav’s ‘confession’, India calls it ‘farcical’
The International Court of Justice recently ordered Pakistan not to execute Kulbhushan Jadhav, convicted of spying, until it hears a case brought by India arguing that Islamabad violated a treaty guaranteeing diplomatic assistance to foreigners accused of crimes.india Updated: Jun 23, 2017 08:28 IST
Indian national Kulbhushan Yadhav has appealed to Pakistan’s powerful army chief to spare his life, the neighbouring country’s military said on Thursday, more than two months after the former naval officer was sentenced to death on charges of espionage.
Jadhav, 46, filed a mercy petition before army chief General Qamar Bajwa seeking forgiveness for his actions, the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said in a statement.
“He has requested the chief of army staff to spare his life on compassionate grounds,” it added.
The development comes weeks after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) admitted India’s plea and barred Islamabad from carrying out the sentence on Jadhav till its final order.
The ISPR claimed Jadhav has allegedly admitted to his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan, and expressed remorse at the resultant loss of innocent lives and extensive damage to property due to his actions.
It also released what it said was a confessional video of Jadhav, the second since his alleged arrest from restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year. India says Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the navy.
If his appeal is rejected, Jadhav has the option of petitioning Pakistan president. Islamabad says it will not hang Jadhav till all his legal options are exhausted.
The Indian government said the development brought out “once again the lack of transparency and farcical nature of proceedings against Mr Jadhav on concocted charges”.
“Pakistan has never disclosed even to the ICJ Mr. Jadhav’s purported appeal to a military tribunal in Pakistan and has effectively prevented his parents from pursuing the appeal and the petition filed by Mr Jadhav’s mother. The details and circumstances of the alleged mercy petition by Mr Jadhav are not clear and even the fact of its existence is doubtful, shrouded as the proceedings against Mr Jadhav have been in opacity.
The Government has once again demanded earlier this week Consular Access to Mr. Jadhav and reiterated his family’s request for visas. Manufactured facts cannot alter the reality, and do not detract from the fact that Pakistan is in violation of its international obligation to India and Mr. Jadhav. We expect Pakistan to abide by the order of ICJ staying Mr. Jadhav’s execution and desist from attempting to influence the ICJ proceedings through false propaganda,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said hours after ISPR’s statement.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had earlier said if the sentence is carried out, India will consider it “an act of premeditated murder”. She had also warned Pakistan of consequences “for our bilateral relationship”.
New Delhi had questioned the trial by a military in complete secrecy and accused Islamabad of denying consular access to Jadhav despite more than 13 appeals.
In his latest “confession”, which was allegedly shot in April this year, Jadhav is heard speaking about two of his senior officers in the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), India’s external intelligence agency.
Jadhav, wearing a dark striped shirt, appears to be speaking to another person who is not shown. The Indian national looks at the camera only at the last few seconds of the 10-minute video.
Besides other subversive activities, Jadhav said he was also assigned to disrupt the disruptions the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a Beijing-sponsored trade link that New Delhi has been opposing for infringing on India’s territory.
The CPEC passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, an area India claims as its.
The Pakistan army said it released the video “so that the world should know what India has done and continues to do against Pakistan”. India denies Pakistan’s charges of helping Baloch insurgents.