ISLAMABAD: Convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav has filed a mercy petition with Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa after a military appellate court rejected his appeal against the death sentence, awarded to him by a special military tribunal.
“In his plea, Commander Jadhav has admitted his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan and expressed remorse at the resultant loss of many precious innocent lives and extensive damage to property due to his actions. Seeking forgiveness for his actions he has requested the Chief of Army Staff to spare his life on compassionate grounds,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in its announcement regarding the receipt of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) operative’s mercy petition.
Gen Bajwa had confirmed in April the death penalty awarded to Jadhav for his involvement in espionage, sabotage and terrorist activities in Pakistan.
Jadhav was arrested on March 3 2016, through a counter-intelligence operation in Mashkel in Balochistan and was later tried by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under Section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1923.
The FGCM, which is the military equivalent of a civilian criminal trial, had found him guilty on all charges.
Jadhav then had 40 days to appeal before an army court. Now, if Gen Bajwa does not accept his appeal, he will have another 90 days to seek clemency from the president of Pakistan.
Also on Thursday, ISPR released a video of a second confessional statement, made by the Indian spy, detailing his activities. The ISPR said that his statement was being “released so that the world should know what India has done and continues to do against Pakistan”.
In the statement released soon after his arrest, Jadhav confessed that he had been “directing various activities in Balochistan and Karachi at the behest of RAW and deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi”.
The International Court of Justice has, on an Indian petition, restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav until the disposal of the case, which is about Islamabad not granting Indian authorities consular access to Jadhav.
India has to file its memorials in the case by August, whereas Pakistan would then submit counter-memorials by December.
“The military process and subsequent stages of the case would remain unaffected by the ICJ stay order,” a military spokesman said.
In his latest statement, which was released in the form of text and video, Jadhav reveals that his target area was Karachi, the Makran Coast, Turbat, Quetta, and certain other parts of Balochistan.
“I was stationed in Chabahar, the Iranian port city, under a fictitious name Hussein Mubarak Patel, and I was running a business there, Kaminda Trading company. It was a discreet non-embassy based operation, exclusively meant to conduct meetings with Baloch insurgents and terrorists. The aim of these meetings was always to see that the aims and the targets of RAW to conduct the various terrorist activities within Balochistan are conveyed properly to the insurgents and any kinds of requirements of them are conveyed back to the RAW officials.”
He disclosed that he was visiting Pakistan to meet fighters from the Balochistan Liberation Army and the Balochistan Republican Army and to facilitate the infiltration of around 30 to 40 RAW operatives along the Makran coast.
He said he travelled from Chabahar in a private taxi, along with his accomplice Rakesh, to the Pak-Iran border near Saravan, where he crossed into Pakistan along with Baloch insurgents. Soon afterwards, he was arrested by law enforcement agencies, he said in his confession.
The statement explains why he was carrying his original travel documents with him.
“I was on an official visa in Iran and so I carried my passports with me until the border almost, so that if Iranian authorities check me or I am stopped or checked, I should have a legitimate reason for movement with in Iran and my subsequent movement into Pakistan and then backwards.”
He claims that he had been assigned by RAW to raise the sea-based front of the Balochistan insurgency.
“Balochistan doesn’t have a movement on the sea, so the aim was to raise within the Baloch sub nationals a sea front, so that the activities could be properly coordinated from the sea side and subsequently taken on further inwards, may be Quetta or Turbat or maybe interiors of various places.”
The statement also details how RAW funds Baloch insurgents and other terrorist groups by illegal transactions through its consulates in Afghanistan and Iran.
“RAW through Mr Anil Kumar has been abetting and financing and sponsoring a lot of activities within Balochistan and Sindh. The entire hundi and hawala operations are undertaken from Delhi and Mumbai via Dubai into Pakistan and during one such important transaction was the $40,000, which was transferred to Baloch sub nationals via Dubai. Also the finances which are coming into Balochistan and Sindh for various anti-national activities are coming through consulates in Jalalabad and Kandhar and the consulate in Zahidan. These are very important consulates which are used by R&AW to transfer dollars to the Balochistan movement,” Jhadav disclosed.
The statement also sheds light on RAW’s involvement with sectarian outfits attacking Hazara Shias, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, and other such groups.
An intriguing element of the statement was about RAW’s Nepal-based cyber operations. A website run from Kathmandu, it is said, was luring people from within Pakistan for various activities to be carried out in the future.
Jadhav also acknowledged that he was given a defence counsel during his trial.
“Today, after the time spent in Pakistan, I feel very ashamed and I genuinely seek pardon of the acts and sins and crimes I have committed here against the nation and the people of Pakistan,” he concluded.
The video statement, which is marked as being recorded in April 2017, is a far slicker production than Jhadav’s previous taped confession, which was riddled with edits. In this statement, the spy seems more at ease and reflects on his actions in a calm, contemplative manner, possibly because it is also an appeal for clemency.