Islamabad/ New Delhi : The Pakistan army on Thursday said that former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav has sought clemency from its chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa over the death sentence handed down to him by a military court.
The development comes over a month after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed Jadhav's execution.
The Pakistan army's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) claimed that in his plea, Jadhav has "admitted his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities" in Pakistan and "expressed remorse" at the resultant loss of lives and extensive damage to property.
"Seeking forgiveness for his actions, he has requested the chief of army staff (Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa) to spare his life on compassionate grounds," the ISPR stated, adding that Jadhav had earlier appealed to the Military Appellate Court, which was rejected.
The Pakistan military also released a "second confessional video" in which Jadhav is purportedly seen "accepting his acts of terrorism and espionage". Under the law, he is eligible to appeal for clemency to the chief of army staff and if rejected, subsequently to the president of Pakistan.
India reacts sharply
India accused Pakistan of making unwarranted attempts to introduce a prejudice in the proceedings in the ICJ over Jadhav's detention. New Delhi sharply reacted after the Pakistan army claimed that Jadhav had moved a mercy petition before its army chief.
"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 into the proceedings in the International Court of Justice," said Gopal Baglay, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.
Baglay, however, said that Islamabad had never disclosed even to the ICJ Jadhav's purported appeal to a military tribunal in Pakistan and had effectively prevented his parents from pursuing the appeal and the petition filed by his mother.
Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran.
India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.