Pakistan has blocked all avenues for effective remedy available to India in the case of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, India’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
At a news briefing, Anurag Srivastava, a spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, said Islamabad failed to provide “unimpeded and unhindered consular access as well as relevant documents.”
India says “unimpeded” consular access to Jadhav not granted
“India has so far requested consular access 12 times over the past one year. However, Pakistan has so far not been able to provide an unimpeded consular access,” he said.
Reema Omar's clear AND legal points on government's new ordinance for Kulbushan Jadhav's right to consular access: pic.twitter.com/DVXwyI0U2f
— Mehr Tarar (@MehrTarar) July 24, 2020
“The meeting of consular officers with Jadhav on July 16 was scuttled by Pakistani authorities.”
Read more: How is India destabilizing Pakistan?
He said consular officers were instructed not to hand over any document to Jadhav and could not obtain his signature on documents needed to file a review petition for the death sentence awarded to him by a Pakistani military court.
“In the absence of an unimpeded and unhindered consular access as well as of the relevant documents, as a last resort, India tried to file a petition on July 18,” said Srivastava.
“However, our Pakistani lawyer informed that a review petition could not be filed in the absence of power of attorney and supporting documents related to the case of Jadhav.”
India flays Pakistan for dillydallying on the Jadhav case
Islamabad rejected New Delhi’s claims as its “usual dilatory and obfuscatory tactics.”
“Pakistan remains committed to the implementation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment of July 17, 2019. Necessary steps have been taken in this regard, including provision of unimpeded and uninterrupted consular access to India,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aisha Farooqui told reporters on Thursday.
“India has, however, been using various pretexts to hinder the process for review and reconsideration.”
She said Pakistan has also offered India third counselor access but there has been no response from New Delhi yet.
“The first consular access was provided on September 2 last year and the second on July 16 this year. Pakistan has offered a third consular access as well,” Farooqui said.
“We hope that rather than using its usual dilatory and obfuscatory tactics, India will cooperate with Pakistan’s courts to give effect to the judgment of the ICJ.”
She said Pakistan recognized its international obligation and invited Jadhav and India to file a review appeal.
“Neither has done so till date,” the official said.
Does Pakistan want to release Kulbushan Jadhav?
India had always accused Pakistan of using terrorism against India, and Pakistan had talked of Indian support to insurgencies and Taliban inside Pakistan – without much impact. However now Pakistan has a solid narrative in the form of Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav.
Hanging or executing Jadhav defeats the purpose. So Indian rush to ICJ on the plea that Jadhav could be hanged was preposterous as it was never in Pakistan’s interest. India might have expected greater relief from ICJ given the international court’s historic sympathies for Indian positions. ICJ trial however helped Pakistan to internationalise the issue.
The incumbent government, of PM Imran Khan, has now a special focus on such cases and Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, also addressed the United Nations General Assembly and mentioned the case of Kulbhushan, and explain how is India destabilising Pakistan. There is no question about if Pakistan was going to release Kulbhushan Jadhav. Experts maintain that Pakistan needs to develop a discourse on an international stage while basing its arguments on these hard facts to expose the role of India in the destabilization of Pakistan.
Background: who is Kulbushan Jadhav?
Jadhav – who Pakistan says was a serving officer in the Indian Navy – was arrested in 2016 in the town of Mashkel in the western Balochistan province, a few miles from the border with Iran.
Allegedly disguised as Mubarak Hussein Patel, a Muslim, he was accused of running a spy network for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s premier intelligence agency, from the Iranian port of Chabahar.
New Delhi denies Islamabad’s charges, declaring Jadhav a retired naval officer who was “kidnapped” in Iran, where he was doing business but his presence in Pakistan was never explained credibly.
A Pakistan military court sentenced Jadhav to death in April 2017 on espionage and terrorism charges. No date, however, was set for his execution, which would be by hanging.
India approached the ICJ, which stayed the execution in May 2017, pending a final decision in the proceedings.
In July 2019, the ICJ ruled that Jadhav be treated under the Vienna Convention, asking Pakistan to provide him consular access and continue to stay his execution.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk