ISLAMABAD – India’s self-confessed Kulbhushan Jadhav is now undergoing trial on terrorism and sabotage charges, according to a report.
The Pakistani government has, meanwhile, demanded access to Jadhav’s whole network from India while expanding the scope of investigation.
Authorities have been pondering over to include charges of “crimes against Pakistan” apart from the terrorism charges he already faces, the Dawn reported on Tuesday, while seeking to record statements of more than a dozen people involved in Jadhav’s spying network.
This matter will be brought up in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) where the trial is underway, according to a report in the Pakistani newspaper.
Kulbushan Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016 from the outskirts of Balochistan. He confessed to being a commander of the Indian Navy who was deputed to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the premier spy agency of India.
The newspaper, quoting a source in New Delhi, said that the officials whom Pakistan wanted to access included National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and a former RAW chief for their involvement in recruiting and directing Jadhav’s activities. Others that Pakistan wants to access include intelligence operatives, bankers and passport officials.
Besides, Pakistan has sought information about his Navy service file, bank record of his pension payment (if there is one as India had been claiming that he was a retired officer), and issuance of the passport in the name of Mubarak Hussain Patel. But New Delhi has remained stubbornly uncooperative.
The Indian spy was awarded death sentence by a military tribunal in April last year after he was found guilty of espionage as well as subversive and terrorist activities across Karachi and Balochistan. His mercy petition is pending before army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who has yet to take a decision on it.
However, it is clear that convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav is under no threat of immediate execution until the ICJ trial is underway.
The international court is currently hearing an Indian petition challenging Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to the spy. Memorial (by India) and counter-memorial (by Pakistan) have been submitted. The oral arguments are yet to commence as the court has allowed further written pleadings in the case by India till April 17, 2018, and a rejoinder by Pakistan till July 17. The world court had while ordering provisional measures in the case last May restrained the Pakistan government from executing him till it decides the case.
The Foreign Office on Dec 25 hosted a meeting between Jadhav and his mother and wife on humanitarian grounds.