Pakistan retains stance on Kulbhushan Jadhav case

The Verdict

On Wednesday, July 2019 International Court of Justice gave its final verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav case. According to the verdict, Jadhav must be allowed consular access and asked Pakistan to give him an effective review and reconsideration of his death sentence.

However, all other demands of India were rejected that included annulment of the military court decision that convicted Jadhav, providing him a safe path home and restrict Pakistan from executing the sentence.

India had accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention and Pakistan had defended this by saying that that did not apply to person held accountable for espionage. The Court of Justice said that although Pakistan had violated the article 36 of Vienna Convention, “it is not the conviction and sentence of Mr. Jadhav which are to be regarded as a violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.”

Article 36 of Vienna Convention

The article 36 of Vienna convention states that when a national of foreign country is arrested he has a right to immediate consular access and regular consultation with the consulate’s officials during the time of his detention and trial.

India had accused Pakistan of the following violations of article 36 of Vienna Convention:

  • Failing to inform India, without delay, of the arrest and/or detention of Jadhav
  •  Failing to inform Jadhav of his rights under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
  •  Declining access to Jadhav by consular officers of India, contrary to their right to visit Jadhav, while under custody, detention or in prison, and to converse and correspond with him, or to arrange for his legal representation.

(The complete report on this case can be found at https://www.scribd.com/document/418177465/ICJ-judgment-in-Kulbhushan-Sudhir-Jadhav-case#fullscreen&from_embed)

The court said that under present circumstances the only thing that could be done was to issue Consular access to Jadhave and give his trial a reconsideration. Pakistan was asked to immediately inform Jadhav of his rights under article 36.

The Pakistani team that went to The Hague was led by Attorney General Mansoor Khan. The team also included the Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Muhammad Faisal.

The court said Jadhav must be given proper and fair trial the choice of which means to use is left to Pakistan. It further adds “Pakistan shall take all measures to provide for effective review and reconsideration, including, if necessary, by enacting appropriate legislation.”

Pakistan has been directed to suspend the execution till the matter is decided.

FO Statement:

After the verdict, the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan issued statement that Pakistan respects the decision of ICJ and will proceed now as per the law. It stated that Kulbhushan Jadhav was clearly involved in acts of terrorism, espionage and destruction in Pakistan. The Foreign Minister also said that “Kulbhushan Jadhav will remain in Pakistan. He shall be treated in accordance with the laws of Pakistan.”

DG ISPR statement:

Director General of ISPR, Major General Asif Ghafoor said that this is big victory for Pakistan. He said “For the verdict to be upheld by an international court where there is no concept of capital punishment is a big victory for Pakistan.

“And for them to say that the review and reconsideration can be done by means of our own choosing is great validation for our judicial system”. As said the Foreign Ministery, he also said that this case will now proceed according to the law. He further added, “it’s another Feb 27 for India; they have been surprised again. They thought that the kind of political capital they have, they can manipulate justice too but that did not happen”.

About Kulbhushan Jadhav

On the day of March 3rd 2016, an individual named Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested from Mashkel in Balochistan. He was arrested during a counter intelligence raid on the said area. An Indian passport named Hossen Mubarak Patel was also discovered from his belongings.

Jadhav is considered as a RAW agent working to demolish Pakistan-China relationships and to sabotage China-Pak CPEC project. He was also found working closely with banned organizations in Pakistan. His sole purpose was to create anarchy and destruction in Pakistan. 

However India rejected of all these claims and took on a statement according to which he (Jadhav) is a retired Naval Officer (when according to Jadhav himself, he is an on duty officer supposed to get retire in 2020) and working as a businessman in Iran. India claimed that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran and transferred to Pakistan and apprehended for interrogation.

In a video released on March 25 2016, Jadhav confirms that he is a naval commander and working under RAW. In the video, he confesses of his involvement in activities of terrorism and espionage. On the same date, the permanent members of the United Nation’s Security Council.

The trial of the accused spy started on 21st September 2016 and after many trials and arguments, on April 10 2017, he was sentenced to death on the grounds of being a spy and involved in terror activities in the state of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

After being sentenced, the Indian High Commission in Islamabad transmitted an appeal to Pakistan on behalf of Jadhav’s mother. And on June 22, ISSPR released a press release announcing about a mercy petition filed by Jadhav. Before a final decision could be made, India had ordered a stay in his execution by approaching International Court of Justice. Since his arrest, he was denied consular access and any contact with his family or country representatives. However, on November 10, 2017 his wife was allowed to meet him on humanitarian grounds.

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