Kulbhushan Jadhav death row: Centre looking at situation 'very seriously' as Indian national's family plans to file mercy petition

Devyani Sultania
Considering India's request to grant visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother: Pak Foreign Office

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Sunday, said that the central government would do all it can to bring alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav back to India. Meanwhile, Pakistan has reportedly prepared a new dossier on Jadhav's involvement in espionage and sabotage activities in Karachi and Balochistan. The dossier will be submitted to the United Nations.

"Certainly India is going to look at the situation very seriously, the Government of India will do what it considers correct. We need to bear in mind that a sham trial has taken place... Now clearly it appears that a cover up is taking place about it. No consular access has been provided. The government feels that certain decisions have to be taken in the national interest and they will certainly do so," BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI.

According to Pakistani media reports, the new dossier prepared by the neighbouring country consists of Jadhav's video confession and the statements given by him in the military court. The court martial general's attested report has also been included in the dossier along with the timeline of the Indian national's militant activities and court proceedings.

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Jadhav's family may file mercy petition

Officials were quoted by the Hindu as saying that Jadhav's family would appeal against the order and also file a mercy petition regarding the same. According to high-level officials, who are involved in the case, the next logical step would be to approach the authorities in Pakistan and file a petition against the death sentence given to Jadhav by the military court of the country. The Pakistan High Commission in Delhi could play a facilitating role in the case.

According to The Hindu's sources, the authorities in India would follow up with the appeal and mercy petitions only after Pakistan gives an official response to Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale's requests. Bambawale had on Friday demanded a certified copy of the charge sheet and judgement and also sought consular access to Jadhav from Pakistan in connection with the death sentence given to the former naval officer. The Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement saying that the Indian government conveyed to Pakistan its decision to appeal against the court order and are also studying the Pakistan Army Act.

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However, Pakistan denied consular access to Jadhav for the 14th time with Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua saying that India cannot be granted consular access to the alleged Indian spy because it is a case of espionage despite the Indian High Commission's claim that the same must be granted under international law.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had also warned Pakistan that if Jadhav was executed, that would amount to "pre-meditated murder" and that they should "consider its consequences" on bilateral relations. India has since then cancelled the maritime security dialogue with Pakistan that was scheduled to take place in New Delhi from April 16 to April 19. Water Secretary-level talks scheduled for April end have also been put on hold because the Indian side did not communicate acceptance of dates that were proposed by Pakistan.

A Pakistani military court sentenced Jadhav to death earlier this week after the Field General Court Martial found him guilty of "espionage and sabotage activities" in Pakistan. The neighbouring country has claimed that Jadhav was arrested from the Balochistan province by security forces on March 3, 2016, after he entered the territory from Iran.

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