Pakistan defence minister Khawaja Asif said on Tuesday that Kulbhushan Jadhav has a right to appeal against his death sentence within 60 days, even as he justified the death penalty given to the Indian national.
Jadhav, 46, was awarded the death sentence by a military court for his alleged involvement in terrorism and espionage. The death sentence was confirmed by army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Speaking in the Senate, the upper house of parliament, the defence minister said that Jadhav has the right to appeal against his death sentence within 60 days.
The sentencing sparked angry reaction from India, which said Jadhav’s execution would be treated as “premeditated murder”.
Asif dismissed Indian concerns that a proper legal process was not observed in the trial. “There was nothing in the (legal) proceedings that was against the law,” he said.
He also rejected India’s “premeditated murder” charge. “It’s not premeditated murder, what’s happening in Kashmir is (premeditated murder),” he alleged.
The minister further said that the trial of Jadhav went on “for three months”, rejecting rumours that he was hastily convicted. The minister said those working against the security of Pakistan would be treated with “iron hands.”
“Whether the enemies come from across the border or within Pakistan, they will receive punishment,” he said.
He said that Jadhav had confessed his crime in a confessional statement, which is available on record.