Kulbhushan Jadhav submits mercy petition to Pakistan Army chief

Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is facing capital punishment on charges of espionage, terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan, has sought "forgiveness for his espionage, terrorist, and subversive activities" and filed a mercy petition before Pakistan's army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the army's media wing ISPR said on Thursday.

The ISPR has claimed that Jadhav has admitted that he was involved in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan. It lodged a case against Islamabad in the International Court of Justice (ICTJ) in The Hague last month.

Gen. Ghafoor issued a press release on his official Twitter handle with the message that Jadhav seemingly "confessed to spreading terrorism in Balochistan and Sindh".

"Seeking forgiveness for his actions he has requested the Chief of Army Staff to spare his life on compassionate grounds", the statement said. They also released a second "confessional" video in which Jadhav - according to the Pakistan Army spokesperson - is "accepting his acts of terrorism and espionage".

The statement said that Jadhav, a 46-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, had earlier appealed to the Military Appellate Court which was rejected. "India went to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) only, because we have no trust left in the judicial process of Pakistan as it does not inspire confidence in a situation like this", senior Congress leader Ashwani Kumar told ANI.

After Jadhav was sentenced to death in April, India asked the World Court for an injunction to bar the execution, arguing that he was denied diplomatic assistance during what it terms as an unfair trial.

India moved the ICJ against the death penalty on May 8.

While the next hearing is pending at the ICJ, the Pakistani Army seems to have coaxed or forced such an admission of guilt from the former Indian navy man.

Pakistan has said that Jadhav's death sentence will not be carried out until he exhausts all his options for filing mercy petitions.

  • Julie Sanders