Rajnath Singh refutes Pakistan's claim of fair trial to Kulbhushan Jadhav

He said Jadhav, who was a serving officer in the Indian navy, directed terrorist activities in Gwadar and Turbat and provoked youth in Balochistan into carrying out anti-state activities.

The statement by the former Foreign Minister comes amid increased bilateral tensions after a Pakistani military court gave a death sentence to an Indian accused of espionage.

Growing by 14 percent, exports from Pakistan to India amounted to Dollars 286 million in July-February.

A Pakistani army court had sentenced alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to death for "for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan", the military had announced. "The Iranian government has also said that Jadhav was in that country and not engaged in any illegal activity", they said.

Earlier, Pakistan's top foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz in his press briefing said that consular access cannot be provided in "espionage cases".

In its weekly news briefing in Islamabad, Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakariya said the "RAW agent" himself had confessed to his crimes and also admitted that he was a serving officer of the Indian Navy.

Aziz added that the convict may lodge a mercy petition to the President of Pakistan within 90 days after the Chief of Army Staff's decision on the mercy petition.

"We would definitely go to appeal against the judgement but we can not do it unless we have the details of charges and the copy of verdict".

However, the world body said it was not in a position to comment on Jadhav's case.

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Pakistan on Friday rejected India's 14th attempt for consular access to Jadhav and maintained the trial sentencing him to death was according to the laws of the country.

It is also understood that India, which has been denied consular access to Jadhav 13 times, has again moved a request for access.

Reiterating India's response that carrying to sentence would be deemed "premeditated murder", Baglay noted, "We have said very clearly that the proceedings against Kulbhushan Jadhav where he has been denied proper defence is farcical, verdict is indefensible, no due process followed and against violations of basic norms of justice and worldwide relations".

An Inter-Services Public Relations statement on April 10 said Jadhav was nabbed from Balochistan on March 3 past year for alleged involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against the neighbouring country.

During the trial, a fully qualified, law officer of Judge Advocate General (JAG) Branch remained a part of the Court.

Addressing the media in Islamabad, Aziz said, "Inflammatory statements and rhetoric about "pre-meditated murder" and "unrest in Balochistan", will only result in escalation, serving no useful goal".

He has the right to appeal within 40 days to an Appellate Court.

Aziz listed several cases of terrorism in which he said Jadhav was involved.

Pakistan reportedly reached out to India with conditions for consular access only after Jadhav had been sentenced. "To provide justice to Kulbhusan Jadav, the government will do whatever is required", Singh said.

  • Adam Floyd