ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign office said on Wednesday an Indian convicted of spying and sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court had refused to file a review petition against the verdict.
Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested in March 2016 in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan, the site of a long-running conflict between security forces and separatists. He was convicted of planning espionage and sabotage and sentenced to death.
India says Jadhav is innocent. Last year the World Court ordered Pakistan to review the death penalty for Jadhav.
“On June 17, 2020 commander Jadhav was invited to file a petition for review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction,” Pakistan’s director general for South Asia at the foreign office Zahid Hafeez said in a joint press conference with Additional Attorney General Ahmad Irfan.
“Pakistan also offered to assist in legal representation for Jadhav. Exercising his legal rights, commander Jadhav refused to file a petition for review and reconsideration of his sentence. He instead referred to follow up on his pending mercy petition.” Hafeez said.
He said that Pakistan had repeatedly written to the Indian high commission, inviting it to file a petition at the Islamabad High Court against the death penalty for Jadhav, adding that he hoped India would cooperate with the courts in Pakistan.
Hafeez also said Pakistan had offered consular access to Jadhav for a second time and a meeting with his wife and father.
In 2017, Pakistan allowed Jadhav’s wife and mother to visit him, eight months after he was sentenced to death.
Pakistan authorities say Jadhav confessed to being ordered by India’s intelligence service to conduct espionage and sabotage in Balochistan, a province at the centre of a $60 billion Chinese-backed “Belt and Road” development project.
In a transcript released by Pakistan of what it says is Jadhav’s confession, the former naval officer says disrupting the Chinese-funded projects was a main goal of his activities.