The mercy petition of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, a retired Indian navy officer sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court allegedly for espionage and subversive activities, is in its “final stages” and a “good news” is likely to come “very soon,” a senior Pakistani army officer told news reporters in the country on Thursday, as reported by CNN News 18.
It will a huge political win for PM Narendra Modi. More than that, though, it will be a big diplomatic and legal victory for India at the highest level.
ISPR spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor, in a press conference, said, “Mercy petition of Kulbhushan Jadhav is reaching its final stage. We will give good news soon.” the ISPR chief said while responding to a question on the retired Indian Navy office who was caught in Pakistan.
If it happens, this will be a big success for India and a big loss for Pakistan. Undoubtedly, it will be a major victory the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Government.
In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench of the ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav. The top UN court had ruled that Pakistan “shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure Jadhav is not executed pending final decision.”
The “good news” remark by the ISPR could be a matter to worry for India as Jadhav’s mercy petition has already been rejected by the Pakistan’s military court. If the petition is also rejected by the army chief, he will have to approach Pakistan’s President for clemency – probably the last resort for him.
Earlier in the month, Pakistan in a statement had said that it has received India’s written pleadings to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is hearing the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged espionage, according to a PTI report. The Memorial (written pleadings) was submitted by India to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on September 15.
The report further stated that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had suspended the death sentence of Jadhav pending final judgement by it after India moved the court in May, requesting immediate suspension of the sentence. The Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement as quoted by PTI stated, “Pakistan has received the Memorial (written pleadings) from the International Court of Justice, submitted by the Government of India.” The statement also said that the Memorial is under consideration by a team of lawyers and experts, led by the Attorney General of Pakistan.
On September 27, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif claimed that a proposal was made to swap Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav for a jailed terrorist in Afghanistan, who was responsible for the horrific 2014 Peshawar school attack.
India vehemently denied the claim.
“The terrorist who killed children in APS (Army Public School) in Peshawar is in Afghan custody. The National Security Advisor (NSA) told me that we can exchange that terrorist with the terrorist you have, which is Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Khawaja Muhammad Asif told a New York audience on Wednesday.
This was followed immediately by a rebuttal from Afghan National Security Adviser, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, who is a statement, said there was no mention or reference of India or an Indian citizen during his meeting with the Pakistani foreign minister on September 21 in New York.
Pakistan had arrested Jadhav in Balochistan in March 2016, and had accused of his involvement in spying and subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi. India has dismissed these charges and said Jadhav was kidnapped from the Iranian port of Chabahar.
In April, this year, Jadhav was sentenced to death by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial on charges of his alleged “involvement in espionage and sabotage activities” against Pakistan.