Pakistan says Indian sentenced to death for spying refused to file review 

Former Indian navy officer Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav is seen on a screen during a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad on Dec. 25, 2017. (REUTERS/File)
Short Url
Updated 08 July 2020

Pakistan says Indian sentenced to death for spying refused to file review 

  • Indian navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan in March 2016 and convicted in 2017
  • Last year the World Court ordered Pakistan to review the death penalty for Jadhav 

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.




Former Indian navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav meeting his wife and mother at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Islamabad on Dec. 25, 2017. (AP/File)

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. 




People wait before the issue of a verdict in the case of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by International Court of Justice, in Mumbai, India, July 17, 2019. (REUTERS/ File photo)

“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.


Pakistan begins anti-polio campaign amid steady decline in coronavirus cases

Updated 46 sec ago

Pakistan begins anti-polio campaign amid steady decline in coronavirus cases

  • 34 million children under the age of five will be vaccinated in 130 districts across the country in August
  • Pakistan's anti-polio efforts were halted in March and resumed only last month amid a decline in infections and fatalities from COVID-19

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani health officials over the weekend launched a seven-day vaccination campaign against polio in efforts to eliminate the disease amid a steady decline in coronavirus cases, which had recently overwhelmed the country’s health system.

During the week-long drive, Pakistan Polio Eradication Program aims to vaccinate 34 million children under the age of five in 130 districts. The country's efforts against polio were halted in March and resumed only last month as the COVID-19 infection started to decrease. On Saturday, Pakistan reported only nine new deaths from the virus. The country's total COVID-19 tally was 288,047, with 6,162 related deaths as of Saturday evening.

The anti-polio campaign started on Thursday in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and was launched on Saturday in Punjab and Sindh. On Monday, vaccination will begin in Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

A health worker gives a polio vaccine to a baby girl at a slum area in Lahore on Aug. 15, 2020. (AP)

“The August campaign is much bigger than the last campaign held in July, we are hoping to reach many more vulnerable children. I was encouraged with the success of our last campaign, particularly how parents cooperated with vaccinators despite the COVID-19 environment, and how our vaccinators followed the COVID-19 safety precautions they were trained on," Dr. Rana Safdar, who heads the government's polio program, said as this month's mass vaccination commenced. 

He added that similar campaigns against polio will be launched in October, November and December.

Dr. Faisal Sultan, the prime minister's special assistant on public health, expressed hope that parents "will continue to realize the importance of vaccinating their children during this campaign in August and help our nation ultimately end the threat of polio." 

"It is imperative that Pakistan continues its fight against polio with an already accessible, safe and widely used vaccine that has saved countless children from polio worldwide," he said.

A health worker gives a polio vaccine to a child at a slum area in Lahore on Aug. 15, 2020. (AP)

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the three countries in the world where polio — a disabling and life-threatening disease caused by the polio virus — is still endemic. Since January, Pakistan has reported about 100 new polio cases in various parts of the country.

Polio is a highly infectious disease mainly affecting children under the age of five years. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death. While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from the disease.