An Indian citizen sentenced to death for spying in Pakistan has admitted espionage and filed a mercy petition with the chief of army staff, the Pakistan military said on Thursday.
Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested last year in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan.
“Commander Jadhav has admitted his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan and expressed remorse at the resultant loss of any precious lives and extensive damage to property due to his actions,” Pakistan’s military said in a statement, adding that he had asked for mercy
on “compassionate grounds”.
India dismissed the Pakistan military’s statement as farcical and an attempt to influence the proceedings of the World Court where India has sought justice for Jadhav. It renewed its demand for consular access to Jadhav and the grant of visas to his family to meet him in prison.
“The details and circumstances of the alleged mercy petition by Mr Jadhav are not clear and even the fact of its existence is doubtful, shrouded as the proceedings against Mr Jadhav have been in opacity,” the Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
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.
The World Court, formally known as the International Court of Justice, ordered Pakistan in May to delay Jadhav's execution. It argued that Islamabad violated a treaty guaranteeing diplomatic assistance to foreigners accused of crimes.
Pakistan authorities say Jadhav confessed to being assigned by India’s intelligence service to plan, coordinate and organize espionage and sabotage activities in Baluchistan “aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan”.
Pakistan also released a second confession from Jadhav. In this he admits to working for India’s Research and Intelligence Wing and financing Baluch separatists to carry out attacks on Pakistani military targets.