A press statement issued by Pakistan on details of the trial of Kulbushan Jhadav has queried why he was using a fake identity impersonating as a Muslim if he was an innocent man as claimed by India. “Why would an innocent man possess two passports, one with a Hindu name and another with a Muslim name?” the statement said, adding that since India has no credible explanation about why their serving Naval Commander was in Balochistan, it has unleashed a flimsy propaganda campaign and inflammatory statements and rhetoric about “pre-meditated murder” and “unrest in Balochistan”.
“We condemn the baseless allegations from India, especially in the light of the fact that it was non-cooperation and lack of Indian response to Pakistan’s request for legal assistance due to which consular access has not been provided to Mr. Jhadav,” the press statement issued by Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs said adding that India has not allowed consular access to many Pakistani prisoners for many years despite repeated requests.
“We expect India to behave responsibly and refrain from issuing statements that will further aggravate people to people hostility. More active diplomacy is therefore needed to arrest the growing crises in India-Pakistan relations before it becomes even more serious,” the statement said,
It explained that Kalbushan Jhadav alias, Hussain Mubarak Patel, a serving Commander of Indian Navy, was confirmed to be working with the Indian Intelligence Agency/RAW and directly involved in sponsoring and directing IEDs and grenade attacks in Gawadar and Turbat while directing attacks on the Radar station and civilian boats in the sea, opposite Jiwani Port. The statement maintained that Jhadav was provided with legal counsel and tried according to the law of the land, in a fully transparent manner while preserving his rights, as per the Constitution of Pakistan.
The press statement also emphasized that as per law, Kulbushan Jhadav has the right to appeal within 40 days to an Appellate Court where he may lodge a mercy petition to the COAS within 60 days of the decision by the appellate court and lodge a mercy petition to the President of Pakistan within 90 days after the decision of COAS on the mercy petition.
As is widely known, Jhadav, a serving Commander of Indian Navy, and working with the Indian Intelligence Agency/RAW was apprehended on March 3, 2016 after he illegally crossed over into Pakistan from the Saravan border in Iran, the press communiqué further explained. Kulbushan Jhadav was found in possession of an Indian passport issued by Government of India on May 12, 2015 and valid until May 11, 2024. He had confessed that he is a resident of Mumbai, India, still serving in the Indian Navy and that his retirement is due in 2022.
“He was tried by Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under section 59 of Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section 3 of Official Secret Act of 1923. Mr. Jhadav was provided with a legal counsel in accordance with provisions of our law. Mr. Jhadav confessed before a Magistrate and the Court that he was tasked by the Indian Intelligence Agency, RAW, to plan, coordinate and organize espionage and sabotage activities aimed at destabilizing and waging war against Pakistan,” the press statement further said.
Pakistani has accused him of funding subversive secessionist and terrorist elements through Hawala/Hundi for subverting the Pakistani youth against the country, especially in Balochistan, sponsoring explosions of gas pipelines and electric pylons in Sibi and Sui areas in Balochistan, sponsoring explosions in Quetta in 2015, sponsoring attacks on Hazaras in Quetta and Shia Zaireen enroute to and back from Iran as well as abetting attacks through anti-state elements in areas of Turbat, Punjgur, Gawadar, Pasni and Jiwani between 2014 to 2015.
The Court had found Mr. Jhadav guilty and the espionage case against him was concluded under the Pakistan Army Act Section 2 and Official Secret Act 1923 and his sentence for espionage endorsed on 10 April 2017.
The proceedings of this case went through different stages in accordance with legal requirements over a period of one year beginning with the confessional video statement of Kulbushan Jhadav on 25 March 2016 and from the outset, transparency was ensured in the proceedings of the trial with the following steps being specifically taken to ensure transparency under the Pakistani Laws and Pakistan Army Act.
His confessional statement was recorded before a Magistrate and the proceedings were conducted under the Law of Evidence (Qanun-e-Shahadat 1984) in the competent court and a legally qualified field officer was provided to defend him throughout the Court proceedings where all statements of witnesses were recorded under oath, in the presence of the accused, in the court. Commander Kulbushan was allowed to ask questions from witnesses, the press statement said.