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India calls Pakistan’s approach to the Kulbhushan Jadhav Case as ‘farcical’

Alleging that the meeting of Consular officers with Jadhav on July 16 was scuttled by authorities, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava remarked on July 23 that Pakistan adopted a "farcical approach" in handling the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. The Ministry of External Affairs also said that Pakistan has blocked all effective remedies for India to bail out Mr. Jadhav from the death conviction and return homeland .

This comes a week after Pakistan denied the “unimpeded” consular access to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav — who is on death row in Pakistan on charges of espionage and terrorism. The 50-year-old retired Indian Navy officer was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India approached the International Court of Justice against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.

“Pakistan advised India that the relevant documents could be handed over only to an authorised Pakistani lawyer. Thereafter, India appointed a Pakistani lawyer to obtain the relevant documents. To our surprise, as advised by the Pakistani authorities, when the authorised Pakistani lawyer approached the concerned authorities, they declined to handover the documents to the lawyer,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday.

“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 18 July. However, our Pakistani lawyer informed us that a review petition could not be filed in the absence of power of attorney and supporting documents related to Jadhav’s case,” the MEA spokesperson added.

He also said , Pakistan created “confusion” over the last date of filing a petition. Pakistan on May 20 passed an Ordinance to allow for a High Court to review the sentence awarded by their military court.

“Pakistan took two weeks to inform us about this Ordinance and shared the copy of the Ordinance only after India requested the same. India has conveyed that the Ordinance neither fulfils nor does it give complete weight to the judgment of the ICJ. With regards to the Ordinance, it seems, Pakistan was non-serious in its approach and was not interested in implementing the judgment of the ICJ in letter and spirit. It has blocked all the avenues for an effective remedy available for India,” Mr.Srivastava said.

"Pakistan has blocked all avenues for effective remedy available to India. It stands in violation of ICJ judgement and its own Ordinance. India reserves its position inclusive of the right to avail of further remedies," the MEA retaliated on Pakistan government moving Islamabad High Court to appoint lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav.

In July 2019 the International Court of Justice ruled that Pakistan must undertake an "effective review and reconsideration" of the conviction and death sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without any further delay.

Reporter : Arjun Raj. S

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