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Indian Facing Death Sentence For Spying Asks Pakistani Military For Mercy


People in Calcutta, India, protest Pakistan's death sentence for Kulbhushan Jadhav in April.

An Indian man sentenced to death for spying in Pakistan has filed a mercy petition with Islamabad's chief of army staff, the Pakistani military says.

Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav "has admitted his involvement in espionage, terrorist, and subversive activities in Pakistan and expressed remorse at the resultant loss of any precious lives and extensive damage to property due to his actions," Pakistan's military said on June 22.

It added that Jadhav had asked for mercy on "compassionate grounds."

In New Delhi, the Foreign Ministry said Jadhav was sentenced on "concocted charges" and voiced doubts about the existence of the petition for mercy.

Pakistan says Jadhav was arrested in March 2016 in the southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan, which has been hit by a separatist insurgency that Islamabad accuses India of backing.

New Delhi denies Jadhav was a spy and claims he was kidnapped from Iran.

After Jadhav was sentenced to death in April, India asked the International Court of Justice to stop the execution, arguing that he was denied diplomatic assistance during his trial.

The court ordered Pakistan in May to delay Jadhav's execution. It argued that Islamabad violated a treaty guaranteeing diplomatic assistance to foreigners accused of crimes.

Pakistani authorities say Jadhav confessed to being assigned by India's intelligence service to organize espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan, which Islamabad says resulted in terrorist acts that caused 1,345 deaths.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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