Pakistan Army Chief analysing Kulbhushan Jadhav's appeal 'on merits'

Naik Muddasar Ahmed

Pakistan Army spokesman Major Gen Asif Ghafoor today told reporters that Gen Bajwa was "analysing the evidence against Jadhav and will decide Jadhav's appeal on merit".

The military court in April had sentenced Jadhav to death over charges of espionage and terror. Now, a Pakistani military court has rejected the petition, which too was expected, as it would give full power to Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa to decide the next steps.

"Gen Bajwa will take a final decision on the appeal of Kulbhushan Jadhav at the earliest". In a big win for New Delhi, India had approached the International Court of Justice in May seeking a provisional stay to the execution of Jadhav which was granted.

A leading Pakistani daily has voiced its support in favour of the alleged Indian spy's mother, saying that she should be granted visa to visit Pakistan on 'humanitarian grounds as this provides the latest opportunity for India and Pakistan to back away from an increasingly confrontational stance against each other.

Jadhav is eligible to appeal for clemency to the Army chief under Pakistan's law, and if his plea is rejected, he can subsequently appeal the Pakistan president for the same. On July 13, the foreign office said Pakistan was "considering" the request for visa.

The advocate's remark came a day after Pakistan's media wing, ISPR, informed that the Paksitan chief was "analysing" evidence against Jadhav. Stating that the circumstances of Jadhav's arrest remains disputed, the court had also said, "India should have been granted consular access as per Vienna Convention".

Pakistan claims to have arrested Jadhav from Balochistan province on March 3 a year ago after he reportedly entered from Iran.

Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj recently launched a verbal attack on Pakistan's foreign affairs advisor Sartaz Aziz, after her letter regarding a visa application of Mr Jadhav's mother, failed to get a response.



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