PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari comes out in support of Kulbhushan Jadhav

Devyani Sultania
PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari comes out in support of Kulbhushan Jadhav

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday opposed the death sentence given to Indian "spy" Kulbhushan Jadhav saying that even though the matter is controversial, his party was against capital punishment "on principle."

"The issue of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav is controversial. He must not have been here in the first place," Bilawal told reporters adding that his maternal grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was also handed out a death sentence.

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PPP Punjab president and former Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira also said that India's reaction on Jadhav's death sentence was "natural." "In fact Nawaz Sharif government has failed to tell the world about the charge sheet on Jadhav. Had India arrested such a Pakistani spy it would have propagated a lot in the world," he said.

Pakistan's former Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying that Jadhav could file a review appeal against his death sentence before the Pakistan Army chief or the Supreme Court of Pakistan. "In case of rejection of his petition, he may file mercy plea before the President," he said, adding that it is a long process and could take over two years.

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Pakistan handed out capital punishment to Jadhav for being involved in espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan and Karachi, the military's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel was arrested from Mashkel area of Balochistan on March 3, 2016.

India has acknowledged that Jadhav served with the Indian Navy, but has denied all connections with the Indian government.

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