Sartaj Aziz shares charge sheet against Jadhav, timeline of trial

Sartaj Aziz, the prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs and the government’s de facto foreign minister, shared the state’s charge sheet against Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and a timeline of his trial in a media briefing on Friday.

At the occasion, Aziz also asked why Jadhav, who was handed the death sentence on Monday by a Field General Court Martial for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities in the country, had been carrying official documents under an alias at the time of his arrest.

“I would like to ask India why he [Yadhav] was using a fake identity and masquerading as a Muslim,” Aziz asked.

“Why would an innocent man possess two passports — one with a Hindu name, and one with a Muslim name,” he added.

“Since India has no credible explanation about why their serving naval commander was in Balochistan, it has unleashed a flimsy propaganda campaign,” he said.

The adviser also condemned what he called India’s “baseless allegations”, adding that the country’s lack of cooperation and refusal to provide Pakistan legal assistance were the reasons Jadhav had not been granted consular access.

“Inflammatory statements and rhetoric about ‘pre-meditated murder’ and ‘unrest in Balochistan’, will only result in escalation, serving no useful purpose,” he added.

The charge sheet

Aziz stated that Jadhav had been held responsible for the following terrorist activities in Pakistan:

  • Sponsored and directed Improvised Explosive Device and grenade attacks in Gwadar and Turbat.

  • Directed attacks on a radar station and civilian boats in the sea opposite Jiwani Port.

  • Funded subversive secessionist and terrorist elements throughhawala/hundi for subverting the Pakistani youth against the country, especially in Balochistan.

  • Sponsored explosions of gas pipelines and electric pylons in Sibi and Sui areas in Balochistan.

  • Sponsored IED explosions in Quetta in 2015, causing massive damage to life and property.

  • Sponsored attack on Hazaras in Quetta and Shias en route to and back from Iran.

  • Abetted attacks through anti-state elements against law enforcement agencies, the Frontier Corps and Frontier Works Organisation in areas of Turbat, Punjgur, Gawadar, Pasni and Jiwani during 2014-15, killing and injuring many civilians and soldiers.

Steps taken to ensure transparency

Aziz reassured critics that steps had been taken to ensure transparency during the trial of the Indian spy under Pakistan’s laws and the Pakistan Army Act.

Elaborating on these steps, the adviser said Jadhav’s confessional statement had been recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, whereas the proceedings had been conducted under the Law of Evidence.

Jadhav was also appointed “a qualified legal officer to defend him in court proceedings,” Aziz said.

Witnesses recorded their statements under oath in front of the accused, who was allowed to question them, Aziz added.

“It should be clear from these details that Kulbhushan Jhadav was tried under the law of the land in a fully transparent manner,” Aziz said.

“His sentence is based on credible, specific evidence proving his involvement in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan.”

“A Letter of Assistance requesting specific information and access to certain key witnesses was shared with the Government of India on 23 January, 2017. There has been no response from the Indian side so far,” Aziz revealed.

Legal recourse

Aziz clarified, however, that Kulbhushan Jhadav still has the right to appeal within 40 days to an appellate court.

He may also lodge a mercy petition to the Army chief within 60 days of the decision by the appellate court and may file a mercy petition to the President of Pakistan within 90 days after the decision of COAS on the mercy petition.

Timeline of the trial

Aziz also provided a timeline of the trial and proceedings against Jadhav:

  • Confessional video statement of Kulbushan Jhadav — March 25, 2016

  • Initial FIR in Counter-Terrorism Department Quetta — April 8, 2016

  • Initial interrogation — May 2, 2016

  • Detailed interrogation — May 22, 2016

  • Joint Investigation Team constituted — July 12, 2016

  • Confessional statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code — July 22, 2016

  • Recording of summary of evidence — September 24, 2016

  • 1st proceeding — September 21, 2016

  • 2nd proceeding — October 19, 2016

  • 3rd proceeding — November 29, 2016

  • 4th proceeding — February 12, 2017

  • Death sentence endorsed — April 10, 2017

“In conclusion of this statement, let me re-emphasize two points,” Aziz said.

“First, all political parties are unanimous that the award of death penalty after due process and overwhelming evidence to a foreign spy, who was not only carrying out subversive activities in Pakistan but actually promoting terrorism, is the correct decision.

“Second, the whole nation is solidly united against any threat to Pakistan’s security.”

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