Defence Min­ister Khawaja Mohammad Asif has ruled out immediate execution of a convicted Indian spy and said three appellate forums are available to Kulbhushan Jadhav under the law.

He said that the trial of the Indian Navy officer — who was working for India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and was arrested in March last year — lasted three-and-a-half months. The charges he faced included spying for India, working against Pakistan’s integrity, sponsoring terrorism in the country and attempting to destabilise the state.

Speaking in the Senate on Tuesday, Mr Asif claimed that Jadhav had the right to move the army’s court of appeal against his conviction within 60 days, followed by submission of mercy pleas to the army chief and the president.

However, a perusal of the Army Act, 1952 showed that under Section 131 of the act, an appeal could be moved within 40 days, and not 60 days.

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