The Pakistan Army has rejected a leading Pakistani news channel’s report that it has decided to amend the Army Act to give the right to appeal to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who is on death row in the neighbouring country on charges of espionage and terrorism.
“Speculations for amendment in Pak Army Act to implement ICJ (International Court of Justice) verdict regarding Kulbhushan Jadhav are incorrect. Various legal options for review and reconsideration of the case are being considered. Final status shall be shared in due course of time,” Pakistan Army spokesperson Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted Wednesday evening.
Speculations for amendment in Pak Army Act to implement ICJ verdict regarding convicted Indian terrorist Cdr Kulbushan Jadhav are incorrect. Various legal options for review and reconsideration of the case are being considered. Final status shall be shared in due course of time.
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) November 13, 2019
His remarks came hours after the ARY News said Pakistan has decided to amend the act so as to enable Jadhav to move a civilian court against the punishment awarded to him by a military court. Islamabad’s move, it said, was in line with the verdict of the ICJ in Jadhav’s case.
Quoting sources, the channel said a special amendment was being made in the Army Act for Jadhav since the existing law prohibited individuals or groups being tried in military courts from filing an appeal to seek justice from civilian courts.
The ICJ had in July upheld India’s claim by a 15-1 vote that Pakistan was in egregious violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) on several counts in the Jadhav case. It had directed Pakistan to carry out an effective review and reconsideration of his conviction by the military court.
According to India, Jadhav was kidnapped by Pakistani security forces in March 2016 from near Pakistan’s border with Iran on trumped-up charges. New Delhi claims that Jadhav was running a business in Iran, vehemently denying Islamabad’s charge that he was an Indian spy.