Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death for allegedly spying in Pakistan, has filed a mercy petition with the country's chief of army staff, the Pakistan military
said on Thursday.
Jadhav was arrested last year in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan
province, the site of a long-running conflict between the Pakistan military
and separatist insurgents.
"Commander Jadhav has admitted his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan and expressed remorse at the resultant loss of any precious lives and extensive damage to property due to his actions," Pakistan's military said in a statement, adding that he has asked for mercy on "compassionate grounds", Pakistan claimed.
India, on the other hand, dismissed as "farcical" Pakistan releasing a fresh "confessional video" of Jadhav and said "manufactured facts" cannot alter the reality in the case.
In a strong reaction, the External Affairs Ministry said India expects Pakistan to desist from attempting to influence the proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case through false propaganda.
This is Kulbhushan Jadhav's statement:
"The developments bring out once again the lack of transparency and farcical nature of proceedings against Jadhav on concocted charges, continued violation of his legal and consular rights and an attempt to introduce prejudice in the proceedings in the ICJ," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.
"Manufactured facts cannot alter the reality, and do not detract from the fact that Pakistan is in violation of its international obligation to India and Jadhav. We expect Pakistan to abide by the order of ICJ staying Jadhav's execution and desist from attempting to influence the ICJ proceedings through false propaganda," Baglay said.
India is determined to pursue the matter in ICJ and is confident that justice will be done without being affected in any manner by these unwarranted and misleading steps taken by Pakistan, he added.
After Jadhav was sentenced to death in April, India asked the International Court of Justice for an injunction to bar the execution, arguing that he was denied diplomatic assistance during what it terms as an unfair trial.
The World Court, formally known as the International Court of Justice, ordered Pakistan in May to delay Jadhav's execution. It argued that Islamabad violated a treaty guaranteeing diplomatic assistance to foreigners accused of crimes.
ICJ is the top United Nations legal body for hearing disputes between states and its rulings are binding - though occasionally flouted.
Pakistan authorities say Jadhav confessed to being assigned by India's intelligence service to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities in Baluchistan
"aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan".
Baluchistan, which has rich reserves of natural gas and minerals, is also at the centre of $57-billion Chinese-backed "Belt and Road" development project that first focused on Chinese firms building roads and power stations but is now expanding to include setting up industries.
Pakistan also released a second confession from Jadhav. In this he admits to working for India's Research and Intelligence Wing and financing Baluch separatists to carry out attacks on Pakistani military targets.