Kulbhushan Jadhav, the alleged Indian spy nicked by Pakistan is again in the news, this time because of some comments made by Harish Salve – India’s lead counsel during Jadhav’s case hearing at the ICJ.
Pakistan on Sunday rejected Salve’s contention that it hadn’t complied with the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) judgment in the case, describing his allegations as baseless and inaccurate.
Salve during an online lecture on May 3 had said that Pakistan hasn’t responded to several overtures from the Indian side to free the former Indian naval officer on humanitarian grounds.
He also accused Pakistan of not complying with the international court’s ruling to stay Jadhav’s execution and review his conviction.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui responded to Slave’s allegations on Sunday.
Pakistan rejects the “baseless and inaccurate” remarks by Salve, she said in a statement, which asserted that Islamabad has “fully complied” with the ICJ’s verdict.
She said: “We firmly reject the Indian counsel’s baseless and inaccurate assertion that Pakistan has not complied with the ICJ’s judgment in the case.
“Pakistan has fully complied with the judgment and remains committed to continue doing so as the case proceeds further.
“Pakistan has granted India consular access to commander Jadhav and is processing measures for effective review and reconsideration as per the guidelines provided by ICJ in its judgment.
Aisha said it was “regrettable” that Salve made statements which “misrepresent facts”. Pakistan has abided by “all its international obligations”, she added.
There was no immediate response to her remarks from Indian officials.
Arrest and conviction of Kulbhushan Jadhav
Kulbhushan Jadhav was a serving commander of the Indian Navy working for Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing.
He was arrested by Pakistani agencies on March 3, 2016, from country’s southwestern province of Balochistan bordering Iran on allegations of espionage and terrorism.
In his subsequent trial at a military court, Jadhav had confessed to his involvement in terrorist plots.
The spy was subsequently sentenced to death in 2017 by a military court of Pakistan.
However, India had been insisting that Jadhav was not a spy and also been claiming that he was kidnapped from Iran.
On April 10, 2017, Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa had endorsed the death penalty for Jadhav – fulfilling a legal requirement for execution of his sentence.
In June same year, the Indian spy filed a mercy petition against the death penalty, once again confessing to his involvement in terrorist activities.
However, India approached the ICJ which stayed his execution through an interim order.
ICJ Ruling in Kulbhushan Jadhav case
The ICJ in its verdict in July 2019 had ruled that Kulbhushan Jadhav be allowed consular access immediately and asked Pakistan to ensure “effective review and reconsideration of his conviction and sentences”.
The court, however, rejected all other remedies sought by India, which included the annulment of the military court decision convicting Jadhav, restricting Pakistan from executing the sentence, securing Jadhav’s release, and ordering his return to India.