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Pak army chief to decide Jadhav appeal 

Islamabad: The Pakistan Army on July 16 said its chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa will decide the fate of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a military court four months ago.

Bajwa is currently “analyzing” the evidence against Jadhav and decide on his appeal on merit, the Army added.

According to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement, issued on June 22, the 46-year-old former Indian Navy officer has already filed the mercy petition before General Bajwa in June, after the country’s Military Appellate Court rejected his appeal against the death sentence.

Pakistan Army spokesman Major Gen Asif Ghafoor told reporters on July 16 that Gen Bajwa was “analyzing the evidence against Jadhav. The Army chief will decide Jadhav’s appeal on merit.”

Jadhav is eligible to appeal for clemency to the Army chief under Pakistan’s law, and if his plea is rejected, he can subsequently appeal the Pakistan president for the same.

A Pakistani military court sentenced him to death in April for his alleged involvement in espionage and terrorist activities. The International Court of Justice in The Hague in May halted his execution on India’s appeal.

Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav in violation of the Vienna Convention. It has also sat on a request for a visa to Jadhav’s mother, Avantika Jadhav, so that she can travel to Pakistan and meet her son. On July 13, the foreign office said Pakistan was “considering” the request for visa.

Pakistan claims to have arrested Jadhav from Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

At the briefing on July 16, the Army spokesman also accused India of ceasefire violations and targeting civilians along the Line of Control. “There were 580 ceasefire violations on the LoC so far in 2017, which is the highest number of violations in recent years,” he said, suggested that India was “compelled” by the “domestic pressure” to do so.

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