Pakistan’s Foreign Minister has claimed that a proposal was made to swap Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav for a jailed terrorist in Afghanistan, who was responsible for the horrific 2014 Peshawar school attack. “The terrorist who killed children in APS (Army Public School) in Peshawar is in Afghan custody. The National Security Advisor (NSA) told me that we can exchange that terrorist with the terrorist you have, which is Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Khawaja Muhammad Asif told a New York audience yesterday. The minister made this claim in response to a question during his appearance at the Asia Society.
However, he did not specify the name of the terrorist or the NSA he was referring to. Jadhav, a 46-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was in April sentenced to death by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial on charges of his alleged “involvement in espionage and sabotage activities” against Pakistan.
Asif said Pakistan has suffered grievously from conflict and instability in Afghanistan. “Unless this cycle is reversed, we would continue to bear the brunt. No country, therefore, has a larger stake in seeing peace and stability return to Afghanistan than Pakistan. Regrettably, the situation in Afghanistan is getting worse,” he said.
Asif said there is no military solution to Afghanistan. Pakistan has in the past done all it could to facilitate a political settlement.
India has accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by repeatedly denying consular access to Jadhav. In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench of the ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav.
Pakistan has said that the Indian national would not be executed until he has exhausted his mercy appeals.
The Pakistan Taliban had claimed responsibility for the horrific Peshawar school attack in 2014 in which nearly 150 people, mostly school children, were killed.