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Pakistan sentences former Indian naval officer to death

Kulbushan Jadhav sentenced for espionage and sabotage activities, says military spokesperson.

April 10, 2017 03:20 pm | Updated November 29, 2021 01:18 pm IST - Karachi

Members of the Pakistan media watch a projection of a video showing arrested man Kulbhushan Yadav -- suspected of being an Indian spy -- during a press conference in Islamabad in this March 29, 2016 photo.

Members of the Pakistan media watch a projection of a video showing arrested man Kulbhushan Yadav -- suspected of being an Indian spy -- during a press conference in Islamabad in this March 29, 2016 photo.

A Pakistani military court on Monday sentenced to death a former Indian Navy official, Kulbhushan Jadhav, accusing him of espionage and working for the India’s external intelligence agency, R&AW.

The sentencing of Mr. Jadhav (46), was confirmed by army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa after the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) found him guilty of “all the charges”, said the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

 

Indian embassy officials have been repeatedly refused access to Mr. Jadhav throughout the trial process.

Mr Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan on March 3 last year, with Pakistani authorities alleging that he was involved in subversive activities in the province.

Announcing the order, military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet: “Indian RAW Agent Kulbhushan awarded death sentence through Court Marshal by Pakistan Army for for espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan”.

 

Limited right to appeal

The ISPR statement also said the accused was provided with defending officer as per legal process. However, the specific charges were never made public.

 

Lawyers familiar with the Army Act trials said there is very limited right of appeal available to the accused. They said the accused cannot challenge the charges but only the jurisdiction. The appeals will also be heard by military officials but of higher rank.

However, since Army Chief General Bajwa has already confirmed the sentence, there is little chance of relief for Mr. Jadhav, sources said.

The ISPR release that followed Major Ghafoor’s tweet, stated that Indian Raw Agent/Naval Officer Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav alias Hussain Mubarak Patel was arrested on March 3, 2016 through a counter intelligence operation from Mashkel, Balochistan for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan.

However, since Army Chief General Bajwa has already confirmed the sentence, there is little chance of relief for Mr Jadhav, sources said.

 

Pakistan military claimed Mr. Jadhav had confessed before a magistrate that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and and organise espionage/sabotage activities.

The ISPR release that followed Major Ghafoor’s tweet, stated that Indian Raw Agent/Naval Officer Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav alias Hussain Mubarak Patel was arrested on March 3, 2016 through a counter intelligence operation from Mashkel, Balochistan for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan.

The activities were aimed at de-stabilising and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of law enforcement agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.

The arrest of Mr. Jadhav was followed by intense diplomatic activity by Pakistan in terms of preparing dossiers for the United Nations alleging that India was trying to fuel insurgency in Baluchistan province.

Former Pakistan army chief General Raheel Sharif also met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on his visit to Pakistan last year and expressed concern that RAW was using the soil of Iran to create unrest in Baluchistan and urged the Iranian President to ask India to stop such activities. Tehran agreed to allay Pakistan's concern.

Following the summoning of Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit in Delhi, the Foreign Office held a consultative meeting in Islamabad.

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