India on Wednesday handed over to Pakistan an appeal by the mother of retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court, to an appellate court, thereby initiating the process to get his conviction overturned.
The appeal was given to Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua by Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale, who also handed over a petition by Jadhav's mother seeking the Pakistan government's intervention for his release and expressing a desire to meet him.
Bambawale also made a fresh request for consular access to Jadhav, which, according to the Pakistani media, has been turned down. This was India’s sixteenth request for consular access.
As per the appeal system in Pakistan, a death row convict has to move an appellate court within 40 days of pronouncement of the verdict.
In the petition, Jadhav's mother has made a request for the intervention of the Federal Government of Pakistan for his release and expressed her desire to meet him, the Ministry of External Affairs said. The Ministry added:
Pakistan was also requested to facilitate visas for Jadhav’s mother and father. They wish to travel to Pakistan to meet him and also to personally file the appeal and petition. They have applied for the necessary visas with the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.
It is the second time that Bambawale has met Janjua in connection with the naval officer's case.
On 14 April, Bambawale had met with the Pakistan foreign secretary and expressed India's concern regarding Jadhav’s whereabouts and health. He had told the media after his meeting that he had asked for a list of charges and a copy of the verdict of the military tribunal against the retired officer to launch an appeal process against his conviction.
Jadhav was given the death sentence by the Field General Court Martial earlier this month, evoking a sharp reaction in India, which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “pre-meditated murder” was carried out.