Kulbhushan Jadhav
Kulbhushan Jadhav

New Delhi. 09 July 2020. In what is a blatant lie, Pakistan has stated that Kulbhushan Jadhav has refused to file an appeal in the Islamabad High Court against his conviction and subsequent death sentence by a military court despite authorities’ offer to do so and has decided to apply for a mercy petition. It is evident that he is being forced to do so .

In a response the Indian  MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said , “we have been pursuing through diplomatic channels full and effective implementation of the ICJ judgment in the case of Shri Kulbushan Jadhav. The media statement made by Pakistan today in the case seeks to mask its continuing reticence to implement ICJ judgment in letter and spirit. Pakistan’s claim that Shri Jadhav, who is incarcerated in Pakistan’s custody, has refused to initiate review petition is a continuation of the farce that has been in play for the last four years. Shri Jadhav has been sentenced to execution through a farcical trial. He remains under custody of Pakistan’s military. He has clearly been coerced to refuse to file a review in his case. India sought unimpeded access to Shri Jadhav to discuss his remedies under the Ordinance. In a brazen attempt to scuttle even the inadequate remedy under the Ordinance, Pakistan has obviously coerced Shri Jadhav to forego his rights to seek an implementation of the judgment of the ICJ.”

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Additional Attorney General Ahmed Irfan and Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry informed that an ordinance was promulgated by the government on May 20, which allowed the Indian government, Jadhav and his legal representative to file a review petition in IHC within 60 days, which expires on July 19.

As always Pakistan is playing dirty . If an appeal is filed in the Islamabad High Court, only a lawyer that holds a license of the respective court would be able to represent Jadhav, which ensures  for Pakistan that an Indian lawyer will not be able to advocate for him.

“Pakistan has on 20 May 2020 passed an Ordinance to allow for the High Court to review the sentence awarded by their military court. They have all along maintained that their laws allowed for effective review and reconsideration while we have protested it all along. Now, after almost a year, they have made a U-turn and issued an Ordinance to ostensibly provide for some sort of review. We have already expressed our serious concerns at the content of the Ordinance and how it violates the ICJ judgment. Pakistan is only seeking to create an illusion of remedy. Despite our repeated requests, Pakistan continues to deny India free and unimpeded access to Shri Jadhav. India has repeatedly asked to allow a lawyer from outside Pakistan to appear for Shri Jadhav in any review and reconsideration proceedings. Pakistan has denied it. Since 2017, when Military Court carried out a farcical trial, Pakistan has refused to hand over any relevant document, including FIR, evidence, court order, etc in the case to India. Clearly, Pakistan is attempting to create a mirage of compliance with the ICJ judgment,” strongly stated Srivastava.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqi  added in a statement that Pakistan has invited India to file the “review and reconsideration petition” after Jadhav’s refusal to do so and elaborated that the mercy petition in the case is a separate process “that has nothing to do with the review and reconsideration” petition. The statement also said that review petition can be filed by Jadhav himself or a legally authorised representative or a consular officer of the Indian High Commission.

“ICJ has already held that Pakistan is in egregious violation of international law. Government will do its utmost to protect Shri Jadhav and ensure his safe return to India. To that end, it would consider all appropriate options,” concluded Srivastava’s .