Kulbhushan Jadhav Has 3 Forums Of Appeal, No Immediate Execution: Pak

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Kulbhushan Jadhav Has 3 Forums Of Appeal, No Immediate Execution: Pak

Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death in Pak, has three forums of appeal available under the law


New Delhi: 

Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Indian navy man sentenced to death in Pakistan, has three forums of appeal available under the law, Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif has said, ruling out his immediate execution, according to the Dawn newspaper.

Speaking in the Pakistan Senate on Tuesday, Mr Asif said Mr Jadhav had the right to move the army's court of appeal against his conviction within 60 days, followed by the option of mercy pleas to the Army Chief and the President.

The minister defended Mr Jadhav's death sentence, which has been strongly condemned by India and questioned by US experts, and claimed that the conviction was preceded by a "three-month trial".

India has said it will do "whatever it takes" to save Mr Jadhav, who was arrested last year and accused by Pakistan of spying.

"This is pre-planned murder," Home Minister Rajnath Singh said at an event.

Describing the proceedings that led to the 46-year-old's conviction as "farcical", the government has alleged that it had requested consular access 13 times and had been denied it.

Mr Jadhav's death penalty has worsened ties that have been frosty since last year's attack by Pakistani terrorists on an army camp in Kashmir's Uri, in which 19 military personnel were killed.

In parliament yesterday, where MPs united to condemn Pakistan's move, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj warned that Islamabad should "consider the consequences" for ties if the retired navy man was hanged.

Sources say in keeping with the government's strong warning, India is debating its response. Experts say India has the option of recalling its high commissioner from Islamabad and reducing the mission to consular level. The government can also consider revoking Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan and lobby international opinion to isolate Pakistan, besides moving the international court of justice.

India alleges that Mr Jadhav was kidnapped in Iran, where he ran a small business, and his presence in Pakistan was never explained credibly.

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