Two petitions seeking the rejection of a mercy plea filed by former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav have been filed in the Lahore High Court.
Interestingly, one of the petitions is from the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LCBA), which has urged the court to direct Pakistan’s Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, to reject Mr. Jadhav’s mercy plea.
Apart from the LCBA petition, a private lawyer Mehmood Naqvi has urged the court to direct Gen. Bajwa to reject Mr. Jadhav’s plea.
According to the process laid out by Pakistan, the Indian national, who has been sentenced to death for sabotage and terrorism by a military tribunal, will have his right to file mercy petitions to the Army chief and the President of Pakistan.
Pakistan Armed Forces’ official spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor, in a Twitter message claimed that Jadhav filed a mercy plea to army chief “seeking forgiveness for his espionage, terrorist and subversive activities”.
A press release attached with the Tweet said, “In his plea, Commander Jadhav has admitted his involvement in espionage, subversive and terrorist activities in Pakistan and expressed remorse at the resultant loss of innocent lives and extensive damage to property due to his actions. Seeking forgiveness for his actions, he has requested the Chief of Army Staff to spare his life on compassionate grounds.”
According to the LCBA petition, mercy for Mr. Jadhav can be granted only by the family members of the victims of terror attacks that were allegedly orchestrated by Mr. Jadhav.
The petitions run counter to the stay on the execution of Mr Jadhav by the International Court of Justice on 18 May. Earlier the LCBA had warned lawyers to not defend Mr Jadhav in court.