Abdul Basit: Kulbhushan Jadhav given fair trial, has full right to seek mercy. India Today exclusive

In his first interaction with an Indian media outlet since Kulbhushan Jadhav was handed a death verdict in Pakistan, Abdul Basit, Islamabad's envoy to New Delhi, said due process was followed in the former Indian Navy officer's sentencing.

Pakistan 's High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit told India Today TV that Pakistan has "sufficient evidence" to convict Kulbhushan Jadhav of espionage charges.

In his first interaction with an Indian media outlet since a Pakistan military court handed former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav a death sentence, Basit said Jadhav was given a fair trial.

Basit was speaking hours before a spokesperson for the United Nations indicated that the world body is unlikely to weigh in on the matter right now.

"We have sufficient evidence against Jadhav and have shared it with the Indian government. He was involved in sabotage and terror," Basit told India Today TV's Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai.

Basit also said that Kulbhushan Jadhav will be given the right to appeal or seek mercy. 

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TOP HIGHLIGHTS FROM INTERVIEW

  1. On Samaa TV quoting Basit branding Jadhav a terrorist: "In response to India's demarche, I did say a few things to (Indian)foreign secretary Jaishankar, but my reaction was not for public consumption. Hence there is media speculation on both sides."
  2. On Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's former national security adviser, telling Pakistan's Senate that there's insufficient evidence against Jadhav: "I think he [Aziz] was d out of context. I think he did say this subsequently. You would also recall that he did submit a dossier to the UN secretary general in September last year. That was our initial dossier. Since then, we have been able gather more evidence and proof."
  3. On badly edited video of Jadhav confessing to being a RAW agent: "We have subsequently been able to gather the further evidence. That is the area. First of all, commander Jadhav has been visiting Pakistan since 2003, and on original, genuine Indian passport. But under a fake name of Mubarak Hussein Patel. So it is for you to let us know why he was traveling under a fake name, with an original Indian passport. Then, charges against him was as such that he couldn't be tried in a civil court."
  4. Was there a lack of transparency in Jadhav's military hearing? "Not at all. He has been tried under the laws of the land - 1952 Pakistan Army Act - and he was also provided defence counsel. Everything was done according to our laws. Our rules of procedure. Remember he was not an ordinary man, or a civilian person. He was a serving officer. So hence he was tried in a military court. As so many other Pakistanis are tried."
  5. On India making 13 requests for consular access to Jadhav: "Consul access is not automatic all the time. Especially, in matters of security and sensitive, consul access is not provided across the board. Secondly, we do have bilateral agreement on consul access as well."
  6. Was Jadhav sentenced under due process? "The due process of law was followed. It was a very sensitive case. Since the arrest of Commander Jadhav, we have arrested hundreds of foot soldiers and operatives provided by him."
  7. Is this part of tit-for-tat policy on Balochistan? "Not at all. We do have our concern on Balochistan. I would refer you to our joint statement at Sharm-al-Sheikh, in which there are references to our concern. We have been raising the concern since 2009 as well."
  8. On German ambassador saying Jadhav was abducted in Iran and then sold by Taliban to Pakistan: "Far-fetched and baseless information. He was caught in Balochistan."
  9. On how India allowed 26/11 Mumbai attacks terrorist Ajmal Kasab all options: "My advice to you is to not mix apples and oranges, lest you draw convoluted conclusions. Legal course is available to Kulbhushan, now that he been convicted. He would have the right to appeal, and if his verdict is upheld by the appellate court then he would ultimately have the right to mercy petition."
  10. On terrorism in Pakistan: "I can tell you that Pakistan has suffered enormously at the hands of terrorists in the last 15 years. We have carried out the Zarb-ul-Azb operation and now the all encompassing Radd-ul-Fasaad operation is under way. Meanwhile, Pakistan has also established military courts through an act of Parliament for expeditious trials against terrorists. In the 2-3 years, we have tried more than 270 Pakistanis in these military courts."

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WATCH FULL INTERVIEW

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