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  India   All India  01 May 2017  Pak may decide Kulbhushan Jadhav’s fate in 6-7 months

Pak may decide Kulbhushan Jadhav’s fate in 6-7 months

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 1, 2017, 2:42 am IST
Updated : May 1, 2017, 2:48 am IST

New Delhi is hoping that the sentence will be at least commuted to life imprisonment.

File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage'. (Photo: PTI)
 File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage'. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: A final decision on whether former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav will face the gallows is expected to be taken by Pakistan in about six to seven months, sources have said.

The civilian-military tussle in that country over the Dawn news leaks issue may well have “complicated” matters since Mr Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and sabotage.

New Delhi is hoping that the sentence will be at least commuted to life imprisonment. Sources also said a decision by Pakistan on the visa application of Mr Jadhav’s parents is expected soon.

Pakistan PM’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz had said earlier, “As per law, Kulbushan Jadhav has following available options. He has the right to appeal within 40 days to an Appellate Court. He may lodge a mercy petition to the COAS within 60 days of the decision by the appellate court. He may lodge a mercy petition to the President of Pakistan within 90 days after the decision of COAS on the mercy petition.”

According to foreign policy watchers, Pakistan’s Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa is expected to reject any mercy petition filed, since he had “confirmed” the death penalty verdict by the military court in the first place.

With the Pakistan Army adopting a hardline stand on the matter and being in the forefront of the move to deny Mr Jadhav consular access, there seems little possibility of the Pakistan Army chief granting mercy.

Therefore, experts say the Pakistan President will have to take the final call on whether Mr Jadhav will be hanged or not. The alternative is to commute the sentence to life imprisonment.

But going by the fact that the Pakistan Army is calling the shots, it seems most likely that any decision by the Pakistan President will also be taken after the Army there is on board.

But what seems to have “complicated” a tenuous situation is the controversy over Pakistan Army’s reaction and dissatisfaction over what it sees as grossly inadequate action of PM Nawaz Sharif in sacking his aide over the leak last year in the Pakistani newspaper Dawn about the civilian-military rift.

Tags: kulbhushan jadhav, life imprisonment, sartaj aziz
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi