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India slams Pakistan’s claim of Jadhav mercy plea

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

India reacted sharply to Pakistan releasing a confessional video of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row there, and the neighbouring country's claim that he had filed a mercy petition with the Pakistan Army chief, describing the developments as an attempt to introduce prejudice in the proceedings in his case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“The developments bring out once again the lack of transparency and farcical nature of proceedings against Jadhav on concocted charges, continued violation of his legal and consular rights and an attempt to introduce prejudice in the proceedings in the ICJ,’’ Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.

He said Pakistan had never disclosed even to the ICJ Jadhav's purported appeal to a military tribunal in Pakistan and effectively prevented his parents from pursuing the appeal and the petition filed by his mother. The details and circumstances of the alleged mercy petition by Jadhav were not clear and even the fact of its existence was doubtful and shrouded as the proceedings against him had been in opacity.

Baglay disclosed that New Delhi had once again demanded earlier this week consular access to 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 Jadhav.  We expect Pakistan to abide by the order of ICJ staying Jadhav’s execution and desist from attempting to influence the ICJ proceedings through false propaganda,’’ he added.

The spokesperson said India was determined to pursue the matter in ICJ and was confident that justice would be done without being affected in any manner by the unwarranted and misleading steps taken by Pakistan.

Earlier, the Pakistan Army said Jadhav has sought clemency from the Pakistan Army chief.  Pakistan Army's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), in a statement, claimed that in his plea, Jadhav has “admitted his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities” in Pakistan and “expressed remorse” at the resultant loss of lives and extensive damage to property.

“Seeking forgiveness for his actions he has requested the Chief of Army Staff (General Qamar Javed Bajwa) to spare his life on compassionate grounds,” the ISPR said.

The Pakistan military also released a “second confessional video”, in which purportedly Jadhav can be seen “accepting his acts of terrorism and espionage”.

In the video, Jadhav is shown to be detailing his alleged “subversive and terror activities” for which he has been convicted by a military court.

“During my judicial proceedings which were held under the field General court martial, I was accorded a defence council by the officials here which were conducting the entire proceedings,” he says in the video.

He is also shown apologising for his acts and seeking pardon.

The Army said it released the video “so that the world should know what India has done and continues to do against Pakistan.”