Friends of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the retired Indian Navy officer sentenced to death in Pakistan on charges of spying, have termed the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision to stay the sentence “boost to their morale”.
According to Pakistan army, Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel was arrested on March 3, 2016 from Mashkel area of Balochistan for his “involvement in espionage and sabotage actives” in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province and Karachi city. A Pakistani military court sentenced him to death on April 10, 2017.
“The ICJ’s decision has boosted our morale. We are happy. Our enthusiasm has increased. We will now try and intensify our efforts to free Jadhav . We plan to meet more officials of the Indian government to highlight his plight ,” his friend Tulsiram Pawar told HT.
Pawar said the efforts taken by the Indian government to expose how Pakistan did not have any evidence against Jadhav were commendable. “We are thankful to the government. They need to put more pressure on Pakistan. The ICJ’s decision is a slap on their face.”
Pawar and Jadhav grew up together in Parel in Central Mumbai. Jadhav’s family lived in police quarters, as his father was a police officer, while Pawar stayed in the building opposite to it.
“We had a small celebration after hearing about the stay. We hope our friend is freed soon,” he said.
Jadhav’s family, his father Sudhir and uncle Subhash Jadhav, are incommunicado.
Earlier, Pawar along with others had started a signature campaign to build pressure on Pakistan.
Pawar told HT that they spoke to Sudhir Jadhav a few days ago. “His father told us our campaign was great and we should keep up the efforts,” Pawar said.
Several political parties also held rallies and protests in support of Jadhav.
- Kulbhushan Jadhav is a retired Indian Navy officer, who Pakistan claimed to have arrested from the Balochistan province. Pakistan later released Jadhav’s ”confessional” video statement and accused him of being a RAW officer, who was supporting Baloch rebels in Pakistan
- The MEA has rubbished Pakistan’s claims and said Jadhav had no links with the RAW or the government
- A Pakistani military court sentenced him to death on April 10, 2017 on charges of spying.