In a clear violation of the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Pakistan government is coercing the Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav to refuse case review. On Wednesday, Pakistan’s Additional Attorney General and DG (South Asia and SAARC) Zahid Hafiz Chaudry in a presser issued a statement saying that Jadhav had refused to file a review petition. The claim by Pakistan comes as an utter sham as the ICJ had specifically told it to review and reconsider its bogus trial.
The statement from Pakistan read as follows: “Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav was invited to file a petition for review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction. Exercising his legal right he refused to file a petition for review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction. He instead preferred to follow up on his pending mercy petition. Pakistan has offered second consular access to him.”
Pakistan has lost its marbles and is trying to come up with such egregious statements that prove that it has nothing but folly in its actions. From releasing doctored videos of Kulbhushan Jadhav confessing to the crimes under extreme duress to ill-treating Jadhav’s mother and wife, Pakistan is berating itself and plummeting to new lows.
Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs iterated that the government was looking at its legal options.
“At this stage, we are assessing our legal options. We will do our utmost to protect the life of the Indian national,” said Srivastava in an online media briefing.
Srivastava further said that Pakistan’s claim reflected its attempt to “mask” its continuing “reticence to implement” the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case in “letter and spirit”.
On 17th July 2019, in a 15-1 verdict, the Hague-based ICJ court ruled that Pakistan must undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Mr. Jadhav and also grant consular access to India without further delay.
However, true to its nature Pakistan tried erecting several roadblocks and only after so much tussle, Pakistan authorities granted consular access to India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad, Gaurav Ahluwalia to meet Kulbhushan Jadhav late last year in September. Since then Pakistan has repeatedly denied a second consular access to Jadhav which is in clear violation of ICJ’s ruling.
Jadhav—an Indian Navy officer wrongly implicated
Kulbhushan Jadhav is an Indian Navy officer who retired prematurely. He had no link with the government, since his retirement. However, Pakistan continues to accuse that he is a spy commissioned to the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and has further charged him with subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi.
Senior Advocate and former Solicitor General, Harish Salve had recently made some crucial remarks and revelations about the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, observing that India might have to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for “consequential directions”.
Harish Salve was India’s lead counsel in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the ICJ, which had granted India consular access to Jadhav in Pakistan, apart from staying his death sentence until Pakistan reviewed and reconsidered the conviction/sentence in light of Pakistan’s breach of Art 36(1) i.e. denial of consular access and notification, last year.
Even former Pakistan Prime Minister’s adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, had admitted on record that Pakistan had “insufficient evidence” on the alleged Indian spy. Yet Pakistan chose to go ahead with the execution. The sentencing was based on a “confessional” which was extracted from Jadhav in captivity.
Now denying Kulbhushan to file a review petition, Pakistan is bracing itself for a new bout of international embarrassment.