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Pakistan says Indian 'spy' wants mercy

BBC News logo BBC News 23/06/2017
In this photograph taken on March 29, 2016, Pakistani journalists watch a video showing Indian national Kulbhushan Yadav, arrested on suspicion of spying, during a press conference in Islamabad: Jadhav was arrested in the province of Balochistan in March last year © AFP Jadhav was arrested in the province of Balochistan in March last year

A former Indian navy officer who has been sentenced to death on charges of spying in Pakistan has filed a mercy petition, the Pakistan military says.

Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested in the restive Balochistan province and accused of "espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan".

Last month a top UN court told Pakistan not to execute Mr Jadhav until it had time to hear a case brought by India.

India dismissed the mercy petition and a "confessional video" by Mr Jadhav.

Pakistan on Thursday released a statement that said Mr Jadhav had sought "forgiveness for his actions" and had "requested the Chief of Army Staff to spare his life on compassionate grounds".

India, which denies Mr Jadhav is a spy, has dismissed Pakistan's statement and a second "confessional" video by Mr Jadhav saying, "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 told reporters on Thursday.

Last month India argued in the ICJ that Pakistan violated international laws by not allowing it access to Mr Jadhav since he was arrested in Balochistan in March 2016.

Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav?

  • The 46-year-old was a resident of Mumbai
  • He is the son of Sudhir Jadhav, a retired Mumbai police officer
  • A former officer, he was in the navy for more than a dozen years
  • His family says he quit the navy to start his own business and was working from Iran's Chabahar port
  • He is married and has children

Meanwhile, there are differing accounts of how and where Mr Jadhav was detained.

Pakistan says he was detained on 3 March 2016 in restive Balochistan province, which has been hit by a separatist insurgency that Islamabad accuses India of backing. India says he was kidnapped by Pakistan while he was in Iran.

The nuclear-armed neighbours have a long history of diplomatic spats, and Delhi and Islamabad often accuse each other of sending spies into their territories.

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