The mercy petition of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death on spying charges, is still pending with the Pakistan Army chief for adjudication, the military said on Monday.
India had moved the Hague-based ICJ in May last after Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism. A 10-member bench of the ICJ on May 18 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case. Pakistan Army spokesman said on Monday that the mercy petition of Jadhav was still pending with Chief of Army Staff Qamar Jawad Bajwa.
“The mercy petition of Kulbhushan is with the Army Chief. It is his (COAS) prerogative to decide; whenever he wishes he can decide. But whenever the decision is taken, we will inform about it,” said Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) – the media wing of the army.
Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.