Islamabad: After Pakistan sentenced Kulbhushan Jadhav to death, the country’s High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit said that there is “sufficient evidence” to convict Jadhav, an ex-Indian Navy officer of espionage charges and that he was given a fair trial.
In an interview conducted by India Today, Abdul Basit said, “We have sufficient evidence against Jadhav and have shared it with the Indian government. He was involved in sabotage and terror,” Basit told the channel. But Jadhav will be given the right to seek mercy. Basit added, “Legal course is available to Kulbhushan, now that he been convicted. He would have the right to appeal, and if his verdict is upheld by the appellate court then he would ultimately have the right to mercy petition.”
He insisted that Jadhav was tried in a military court under the laws of the land – 1952 Pakistan Army Act – and he was also provided defence counsel. “The due process of law was followed. It was a very sensitive case. Since the arrest of Commander Jadhav, we have arrested hundreds of foot soldiers and operatives provided by him.”
When quizzed about the badly edited video of Jadhav confessing to being a RAW agent, Basit said that more evidence has been gathered since. He further said that since 2003, Jadhav had been going to Pakistan on an original Indian passport but under a fake name – Mubarak Hussein Patel. “So it is for you to let us know why he was travelling under a fake name, with an original Indian passport,” Basit said.
Basit justified the denial of consular access to Jadhav 13 times saying that when it comes to matters of security, consul access is not guaranteed and the decision was made under the bilateral agreement on the subject.
He dismissed Pakistan’s former national security adviser Sartaj Aziz’s comments about insufficient evidence against Jadhav as quote being taken “out of context”. He also called German ambassador’s remark that Jadhav was abducted in Iran and then sold by Taliban to Pakistan as “far-fetched and baseless information”; adding that Jadhav was caught in Balochistan.