New Delhi: Former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, 47, who is currently on death row in Pakistan, is presently undergoing trial on terrorism and sabotage charges, Dawn reported on Monday. Jadhav, who was arrested on March 3 last year from the restive Balochistan province, as claimed by Pakistan, has multiple cases on him and the one related to spying had concluded, Dawn quoted an official as saying.
Meanwhile, Islamabad said it was still awaiting New Delhi’s response on access to 13 Indian officials to corroborate information in the case – a fact that the Shahid Abbasi government also mentioned in the counter-memorial submitted at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The official said multiple requests were made to India, but it had turned a deaf ear to them.
Dawn quoted a source in New Delhi as saying that among the officials whom Pakistan sought access were National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and a former RAW chief. Pakistan believes the officials were Jadhav’s handlers and were engaged in recruiting people to carry out subversive activities in Balochistan. Others that Pakistan wants to access include intelligence operatives, bankers and passport officials.
Pakistan has sought information about Jadhav’s Navy service file, bank record of his pension payment, and issuance of the passport in the name of Mubarak Hussain Patel. “We have asked if the passport is fake (then) how he exited Mumbai and Delhi airports 18 times,” the official said. Details of Jadhav’s properties in Mumbai and Pune, which he had acquired with the alias Hussain Mubarak Patel has also been sought.
The International Court of Justice is currently hearing an Indian petition challenging Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to Jadhav. The ICJ has set separate deadlines for India and Pakistan for the filing of the written pleadings by them in the case. April 17 and July 17 have been fixed as “time-limits” for India and Pakistan respectively.
The former Navy officer was in April last year sentenced to death by a military court after being found guilty of espionage. India, however, has maintained that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and his mercy petition is lying with Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa. The Pakistan government on December 25 had hosted a meeting between Jadhav and his mother and wife, which turned into a verbal spat between the two nations, with New Delhi accusing Islamabad of mistreatment of his family members.