Indian convicted of spying seeks pardon from Pakistan

Pakistan's military said Thursday that an Indian naval officer who was sentenced to death by a military court on charges of espionage and sabotage had submitted a petition for mercy to the country's army chief, seeking a pardon.

In a statement, it said Kulbhushan Jadhav in his petition "admitted his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities" in Pakistan.

It said Jadhav has expressed "remorse" over his actions, which caused a loss of lives. It said the man earlier appealed to the military's appellate court, which rejected his petition.

Jadhav was arrested in March 2016, and he was sentenced to death by a military tribunal in April.

The latest development comes weeks after New Delhi took Pakistan to the International Court of Justice in an effort to save Jadhav's life.

New Delhi at that time told the court that Pakistan did not provide it with consular access despite repeated requests.

Acting on the Indian petition, the court at the time asked Pakistan not to take any action that could affect the hearings.

Under Pakistan's laws, Jadhav has the right to appeal to Pakistan's president for a pardon if the army chief rejects his petition.

Pakistani officials say Jadhav has been linked to 1,345 deaths in acts of terrorism in Pakistan, making secret trips to Pakistan from Iran before his arrest.

The military Thursday issued a new confessional video statement from Jadhav in which the man said he visited Pakistan's port city of Karachi twice for intelligence gathering on naval installations. He admitted his role in fomenting violence in the southwestern Baluchistan province.

He also admitted that Pakistan caught him on entering Baluchistan province.

It was unclear whether he made these confessions under duress.

However, Jadhav's latest confessions are in contrast with New Delhi's claim that he was kidnapped last year from Iran.