The Lahore High Court on Monday held hearing on a petition seeking a court order for stopping the Pakistan government from “pardoning or reducing the sentence” of Indian prisoner on death row Kulbhushan Jadhav. Petitioner Mahmood Ahmed Naqvi also pleaded the court to order hanging 46-year-old Jadhav without any further delay, saying that the convict had confessed his involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan.
“Kulbhushan Jadhav is a RAW agent and his confession that he had committed terrorism in Pakistan leaves no room for any concession to him,” he said and requested the court to issue an order stopping the Nawaz government from giving any concession like pardoning or reducing his sentence. Justice Shahid Karim sent the petition to the chief justice for constitution of another bench to hear it as he (judge) was going on leave.
On June 22, Jadhav had filed a mercy petition before Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. In a statement, the Inter Services Public Relations, media wing of Pakistan military, has claimed that Jadhav has admitted to his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan and expressed remorse at the resultant loss of many precious innocent lives and extensive damage to property due to his actions.
“Jadhav is seeking forgiveness for his actions and he has requested the Chief of Army Staff to spare his life on compassionate grounds,” it said. Jadhav had earlier filed an appeal to the Military Appellate Court, which was rejected. His mercy petition to military appellate court was also rejected.
He had been sentenced to death by a military court in April for espionage and terrorism. International Court of Justice in May halted the execution on India’s appeal. In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench of the International Court of Justice restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav.
Pakistan claims it arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.