Convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is currently on death row, has appealed to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Bajwa for mercy.
“Commander Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav, the serving Indian Naval Officer who has been sentenced to death on charges of espionage, sabotage and terrorism, has made a mercy petition to the Chief of Army Staff,” the army’s media wing said in a press release issued Thursday.
“In his plea, Commander Jadhav has admitted 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.
“Seeking forgiveness for his actions, he has requested the Chief of Army Staff to spare his life on compassionate grounds,” the Army said.
Commander Jadhav has reportedly exhausted an appeal to the Military Appellate Court, it emerged from the press release. If his appeal for clemency is rejected by Gen Bajwa, he will have recourse to appeal to President Mamnoon Hussain.
A new confessional video, released by Inter-Services Public Relations along with the news of Jadhav’s petition, purports to detail the crimes Jadhav has sought absolution from.
In the video, Jadhav can be heard saying that Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) sponsored various terrorist activities in Pakistan in order to disrupt economic activities linked to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and foment socio-political disturbance and strife in Balochistan and Karachi.
Jadhav, in his “confession”, has said that one Anil Kumar “on behalf of RAW” sponsored terrorist activities in Pakistan. These included encouraging sectarian violence targeting Hazara and Shia citizens, particularly those travelling between Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan on pilgrimage.
The purpose of sponsoring various attacks in the region was so that “instability or some kind of fear is set into the mindsets of the people of Pakistan”, Jadhav said, saying that the high-profile assassination of Superintendent Police Chaudhry Aslam was an example of the kind of disturbance India wanted to create.
According to Jadhav, RAW also ‘directly sponsored’ the targeting of Frontier Works Organisation workers in Balochistan and sponsored Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks carried out by “Baloch sub-nationals” within Quetta, Turbat and various other cities of Balochistan.
The spy said that “various financing which subsequently happened for the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and various other Afghan anti-Pakistani terrorist groups led to the attack by TTP on one of the Mehran Naval Bases in which a lot of damage was cost to the Pakistani Navy.”
Other attacks that Jadhav said were “funded and directly supported by Anil Kumar” included a “sort of radar installation attack, the Sui pipeline gas attack, then attacks on civilian bus stations where some, I suppose, Pakistani nationals were being targeted by sub-nationals and murdered and massacred” in order to cause disruptions in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“He wanted it [the attacks] to be raised to the next level so that complete disruption and complete stoppage of the CPEC between Gwadar and China is achieved,” Jadhav added.
A ‘military-style’ attack on the Pakistani consulate in Zahidan was also planned by RAW officials along with Baloch insurgents, Jadhav confessed.
“The aim was to either attack it with a grenade or some kind of Rocket-Propelled Grenade or IED attack or then try to harm the consul-general or some kind of vicious attack on the Pakistani consulate in Zahidan,” he said.
Additionally, he said, RAW had sponsored the creation of a new website for the Baloch movement in addition to handling an existing website “which was luring people from within Pakistan for various activities to be carried out in the future.”
Funding for these activities took place through hawala and hundi operations, Jadhav said, with finances moved from Delhi and Mumbai via Dubai into Pakistan.
Jadhav had previously been tried by a Field General Court Martial under Section 59 of the PAA and Section 3 of the official Secret Act of 1923 and sentenced to death.
Jadhav had confessed before a magistrate and court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities seeking to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan through impeding the efforts of law enforcement agencies for the restoration of peace in Balochistan and Karachi, the ISPR had said earlier.
Jadhav’s first confession
Jadhav’s first confessional statement was aired by former ISPR head Lt Gen Asim Bajwa, in which the spy admitted to involvement in terror activities in Balochistan and Karachi.
Terming the Indian spy’s arrest a ‘big achievement’, Bajwa said at the time that Jadhav was directly handled by the RAW chief, the Indian National Security Adviser and the RAW joint secretary.
“His goal was to disrupt development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with Gwadar port as a special target,” Bajwa had said, adding, “This is nothing short of state-sponsored terrorism… There can be no clearer evidence of Indian interference in Pakistan.”
“If an intelligence or an armed forces officer of this rank is arrested in another country, it is a big achievement,” Bajwa had said, before going on to play a video of Jadhav confessing to Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) involvement in Balochistan separatist activities in Pakistan.
Case goes to ICJ
A 10-member bench of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations’ top court, is hearing an urgent bid by India to stop Pakistan from executing Jadhav.
The ICJ in a hearing of the case on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav and rejected India’s request to delay proceedings in Jadhav’s case until December.
India was also ordered to submit a response by September 13 regarding the case.
Rejecting Pakistan’s argument that the court did not have jurisdiction in the matter, the court reasoned it could hear the case because it involved, on the face of it, an alleged violation of one of the clauses of the Vienna Convention, which both Pakistan and India ascribe to and whose interpretation falls under its purview.
“[Meanwhile] Pakistan should take all measures to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed till the final decision of this court,” the court said at the time.
The court also said Pakistan should inform it of all measures taken in implementation of the order.