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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: India slams Pakistan over ‘confessional video’

LiveMint logoLiveMint 23-06-2017 PTI

New Delhi: India tonight dismissed as “farcical” Pakistan releasing a fresh “confessional video” of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav and said “manufactured facts” cannot alter the reality in the case.

In a strong reaction, the external affairs ministry said India expects Pakistan to desist from attempting to influence the proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case through false propaganda.

“The developments bring out once again the lack of transparency and farcical nature of proceedings against Jadhav on concocted charges, continued violation of his legal and consular rights and an attempt to introduce prejudice in the proceedings in the ICJ,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.

He was responding after Pakistan today released the second “confessional video” of Jadhav.

“Manufactured facts cannot alter the reality, and do not detract from the fact that Pakistan is in violation of its international obligation to India and Jadhav. We expect Pakistan to abide by the order of ICJ staying Jadhav’s execution and desist from attempting to influence the ICJ proceedings through false propaganda,” Baglay said.

The Pakistan military released a “second confessional video”, in which purportedly Jadhav can be seen “accepting his acts of terrorism and espionage”. The Pakistan Army claimed that Jadhav has sought clemency from the Pakistan Army chief over the death sentence handed down to him by a military court after his plea to an appellate court was rejected.

The development comes just over a month after the ICJ stayed Jadhav’s execution.

Baglay said Pakistan has not even disclosed to the ICJ Jadhav’s purported appeal to a military tribunal in Pakistan. The details and circumstances of the alleged mercy petition by Jadhav are not clear and even the fact of its existence is doubtful, shrouded as the proceedings against Jadhav have been in opacity, he said.

Baglay said earlier this week the government had once again demanded Consular Access to Jadhav and reiterated his family’s request for visas. India is determined to pursue the matter in ICJ and is confident that justice will be done without being affected in any manner by these unwarranted and misleading steps taken by Pakistan, he added.

The Pakistan army, in a statement, said that Jadhav, a 46-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, had earlier appealed to the Military Appellate Court which was rejected.

Under the law, he is eligible to appeal for clemency to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and if rejected, subsequently to the Pakistan President.

Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province on 3 March 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.

Jadhav was in April sentenced to death by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial on charges of “involvement in espionage and sabotage activities” against the country.

India moved the ICJ against the death penalty handed down to Jadhav on 8 May. India has accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by repeatedly denying consular access to Jadhav.

In a hearing of the case on 18 May, a 10-member bench of the ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav. Earlier this month, Pakistan had said that the Indian national would not be executed until he has exhausted his mercy appeals.

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