Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who’s on death row in Pakistan for alleged espionage, is now under trial on charges of “terrorism and sabotage”, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported today, citing an unnamed official.
The official didn’t say whether this trial too is being conducted in a military court. Jadhav, a former Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April last year. His execution was stayed last May by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The Pakistani official reportedly told Dawn that Jadhav has multiple cases against him in which he had been indicted on alleged terror- and sabotage-related charges. The official further said the trial in a charge relating to alleged spying had only just concluded.
Dawn further said that the Pakistan government, which says Jadhav works for India’s intelligence agency RAW, has repeatedly sought access to 13 Indian officials, including National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and a former RAW chief. Others that Pakistan wants to access include intelligence operatives, bankers and passport officials.
“We want to reach Jadhav’s handlers,” the official told Dawn.
Jadhav’s execution was stayed in May last year after India appealed to the ICJ in The Hague. Jadhav has never been given consular access. India challenged the Pakistani military court’s death sentence on Jadhav in The Hague for violating the Vienna Convention in not giving Jadhav consular access.
Pakistan has yet to give Jadhav consular access. It did allow Jadhav to meet his mother and his wife in December, but that further worsened relations with India because Pakistani officials harassed and intimidated Jadhav’s family members.
On May 18 last year, the ICJ ruled that Jadhav must not be put to death by Islamabad until the international court has had enough time to pass the final judgement in the case. The oral arguments in the ICJ are yet to commence. The ICJ fixed April 17, 2018, and July 17, 2018, respectively, for India and Pakistan as the respective time limits for filing written pleadings in the case.
Pakistan claims Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan in March 2016. India says he was kidnapped from Iran where he’d gone in his personal capacity for work.