High-level meeting discusses Kulbhushan Jadhav case

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ISLAMABAD: A high-level meeting was held over the issue of India’s case in International Court of Justice (ICJ) over Indian RAW officer Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a military court.

The meeting was held at Attorney General office, which was attended among others by Foreign Affairs Secretary Tahmina Janjua, Law Secretary Karamatullah Niazi and Interior Secretary Arshad Mirza. The meeting was also attended by a representative of ISI, Military Intelligence, Judge Advocate General Branch of GHQ and others.

Sources said that military officials briefed the meeting about the sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav. The meeting was also apprised about the mercy petition filed by the convicted spy with the president of Pakistan.

It is to be mentioned here that India challenged the verdict in the top UN court, accusing Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by failing to provide Jadhav with consular access, which it said was in breach of international human rights laws.

Earlier, on Thursday, Major General Asif Ghafoor said, “Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mercy petition has come to the army chief. There is a process, everything goes through a process but I can assure that it is near finalisation and we will give you news about this very soon.”

Moreover, on September 27, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif claimed that a proposal was made to swap Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav for a jailed terrorist in Afghanistan, who was responsible for the horrific 2014 Peshawar school attack.

“The terrorist who killed children in APS (Army Public School) in Peshawar is in Afghan custody. The National Security Advisor (NSA) told me that we can exchange that terrorist with the terrorist you have, which is Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Asif claimed during the Asia Society talk in New York last week.

However, the claim was vehemently denied by India.

On the other hand, Indian media reported that friends of Jadhav on Friday expressed confidence in his release and said they are waiting for the day when the Indian Navy officer will return to the country safely.

On May 18, the ICJ ruled that Jadhav must not be put to death by Islamabad until the ICJ has had enough time to pass the final judgement in the case, and ordered a stay against the execution.

Jadhav, a RAW officer, was arrested during a counter-intelligence raid in Balochistan in March 2016, who had confessed to being a spy for India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and involvement in terrorism in the country.

He was sentenced to death in April by Field General Court Martial on charges of his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan.