A leading Mumbai NGO Harmony Foundation on Saturday appealed to Pakistani peace activists to launch a campaign to save former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan S. Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by that country’s military court. Abraham Mathai, President of Harmony Foundation — which awards the St. Mother Teresa Awards annually to prominent global citizens — has written to Pakistani peace campaigner Saeeda Diep of Lahore for help in the Jadhav case.
Following the appeal, Diep, who is Executive Director, Centre for Peace and Secular Studies, Lahore, has agreed to initiate a campaign in her country to ensure a proper trial for Jadhav, who hails from Mumbai, according to him. Mathai pointed out how Jadhav was not arrested on Pakistani territory but kidnapped by some militant outfits working in tandem with the current (Pakistan) regime, and that all the military courts were allegedly a sham which did not adhere to principles of natural justice.
“Jadhav has been denied consular access in direct violation of the Geneva Convention. No copy of the chargesheet has been provided to him which is the fundamental right of any accused,” Mathai said. He said the worst of terrorists, when caught anywhere in the world, were given a fair trial, including India, which demonstrated the principles of natural justice by giving a fair trial to hardcore terrorist Ajmal Kasab and upholding his human rights.
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“In Jadhav’s case, all circumstantial evidences indicate that he was framed and accordingly, it is only fair that he be given a fair trial by a proper judicial court,” Mathai urged Diep, a former recipient of the St. Mother Teresa Award. Last Monday, April 10, Pakistan announced that a Field General Court Martial had awarded the death sentence to Jadhav, who was reportedly arrested from Balochistan’s Mashkel area on March 3, 2016.
The Inter-Service Public Relations said that he was tried under Section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act, 1952 and Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 and found guilty of all charges including “involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan”.