The International Court of Justice stayed the hanging of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of spying. The order came a day after India approached by The Hague-based ICJ against the death sentence handed down to Jadhav by Pakistan’s field general court martial in April, sources said. India has accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention and said Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy but Pakistan claimed to have arrested him from Balochistan on March 3, 2016.
Many appeals were made; several petitions were filed to save Jadhav, because no one wants him to die the way Sarabjeet died. Jadhav was born in Sangli, Maharashtra; his father is a retired Mumbai Police officer. Jadhav is married and has two children. His family resides in Powai, Mumbai. According to reports in the Pakistani media, Jadhav joined the Indian National Defence Academy in 1987 and was commissioned in the engineering branch of the Indian Navy in 1991. After the 2001 attack on the Parliament of India, he started gathering information and intelligence within India. After 14 years of service he entered into intelligence operations in 2003, and established a small business in Chabahar in Iran. From Chabahar, he made several undetected visits to Pakistan, where his activities were confined to Karachi and Balochistan.
According to the Pakistani government, on 3 March 2016, Jadhav was arrested inside Balochistan during a counterintelligence raid conducted by security forces. He was arrested in Mashkel near the border region of Chaman, having made illegal entry into Pakistan via Iran. Pakistani security forces reported Jadhav as a serving officer in the Indian Navy and asserted that he was commissioned to the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency. They believed him to be involved in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi. Jadhav was shifted to Islamabad for interrogation.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that Jadhav was working for RAW and was in contact with Baloch separatists and terrorists fuelling sectarian violence in the province and the country. He further added that he was involved in financially supporting terrorists and admitted his involvements in Karachi’s unrest. Interrogation of the intelligence operative also revealed that naval combat training was being conferred to Baloch separatists, in an attempt to target the ports of Gwadar and Karachi. Pakistani authorities told to media that Jadhav during his interrogation gave details about his funding and plans to destabilise their country. During the joint conference held by the army and the government, Jadhav’s video confession was made public.
India accepted that an officer arrested in Pakistan served with their navy but at the same time denied that he was an agent for intelligence agency. Indian MEA communicated that Jadhav took premature retirement from the navy and the government had no link since his retirement from the Indian Navy. India expounded that Pakistan had fabricated the documents without ascertaining discrepancies. Pakistan has previously raised concerns over involvement of foreign elements in terrorist activities in its territory but this was the first instance of India acknowledging the arrest across the border of an individual associated with its armed forces. The International Court of Justice late on Tuesday stayed the hanging of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of spying. India has accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention and said Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy but Pakistan claimed to have arrested him from Balochistan on March 3, 2016.
Pakistan stated that Jadhav entered Chabahar with a visa stamped on a fake passport numbered L9630722 in 2003 where he got a new identity of Hussain Mubarak Patel—born in 30 August 1968, from Maharashtra, India. Officials claimed that his job was to weaken Pakistan by solidifying separatist movement in Balochistan and Karachi—a mission which officially began in 2013. Jadhav in his confession said that he was the masterminds of the Safoora bus attack, where gunmen shot dead 45 Ismaili passengers, were also in contact with Haji Baloch, Jadhav added that he had met Baloch several times, sometimes for planning sectarian violence in Karachi and the rest of Sindh.
Based on Jadhav’s information, Pakistan said it arrested hundreds of undercover operatives. In April 2016, Islamabad briefed diplomats of various countries regarding Jadhav’s arrest and his claimed involvement in terrorist activities. The evidence was also shared with the United States and United Kingdom. Separately, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan held a meeting with the Iranian ambassador.
On 10 April 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan, following a confession before the magistrate and court. Jadhav’s trial lasted three and a half months and the charges he was convicted for included spying for India, waging war against Pakistan, sponsoring terrorism, and destabilising the state. He was tried in a military court due to his naval background and the sensitive nature of his case, involving espionage and sabotage. The sentence was confirmed by army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, and released via the ISPR.
Following the sentencing, the government of India summoned Pakistani High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit and issued a demarche stating that the proceedings that led to Jadhav’s sentencing were farcical and that India would regard Jadhav’s execution as murder in the first degree. Basit replied to the Indian foreign secretary that “on the one hand you perpetrate terrorism in Pakistan, and record a protest against us on the other. We have not done anything wrong. The time will tell what is going to happen with Jadhav and how Indian government will succeed in saving his life. After Sarabjeet’s death too Indian government assured consequences with Pakistan but that remained only a Jumla. This time the big question is that, can we save Jadhav?
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