A mom’s plea to to save her son reaches Pak. doorsteps

Jadhav’s mother seeks to meet him; India calls for consular access once again

Updated - April 26, 2017 10:40 pm IST

Published - April 26, 2017 09:26 pm IST - New Delhi

New Delhi: File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage'. PTI Photo (PTI4_11_2017_000103B)

New Delhi: File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage'. PTI Photo (PTI4_11_2017_000103B)

India on Wednesday handed over to Pakistan, a letter of appeal from the mother of former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a military court on espionage charges.

Apart from the letter, India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale also conveyed to Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, the request for consular access for Mr. Jadhav, for the 16th time.

“Also handed over was the appeal by the mother to the Court of Appeal, on behalf of Shri. Jadhav, who continues to be in detention in Pakistan on concocted charges. The mother of Shri. Jadhav has requested the intervention of the Federal Government of Pakistan for his release and has expressed the desire to meet him,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Appeal within 40 days

The process of appeal was laid out by Sartaj Aziz, Adviser on Foreign Affairs to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, on April 14. Mr. Aziz said that Mr. Jadhav could appeal against the death sentence to an Appellate Court, within 40 days. The MEA indicated that Mr. Jadhav’s family members were likely to travel to Pakistan to fight the case.

“Pakistan was… requested to facilitate visas for the mother and father of Shri. Jadhav. They wish to travel to Pakistan to meet him and also to personally file the petition and the appeal,” the Ministry of External Affairs stated in a press release. The statement revealed that the parents had applied for visas to the High Commission of Pakistan in Delhi.

Mr. Jadhav’s case was also discussed by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit in a meeting held on Tuesday, the MEA said. Mr. Jadhav will have the option of lodging a mercy petition with the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) of Pakistan within 60 days of the decision by the appellate court.

Mr. Jadhav is also entitled to apply for mercy from the President of Pakistan within 90 days after the decision of CoAS on the mercy petition. However, the entire process of appealing in the case has come under a cloud following non-availability of Pakistani lawyers willing to fight on his behalf.

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