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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

In this March 29, 2016 photo, journalists look a image of Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016, during a press conference by Pakistan's army spokesman and the Information Minister, in Islamabad, Pakistan.   | Photo Credit: AP

Former India Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death in a Field General Court Martial on April 10, 2017 after three-and-a-half months of trial. He has been accused of espionage and working for the India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW).

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: A timeline | Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav?

He was arrested from Balochistan on March 3, 2016.

The issue has snowballed into a flash point for India-Pakistan relations.

Read on for an in-depth look into the case.

Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

No second consular access planned for Jadhav: Pakistan

A vehicle carrying a diplomat leaves the foreign ministry following a meeting with Kulbhushan Jadhav, in Islamabad on September 2, 2019.   | Photo Credit: AP

Pakistan on Thursday said there was no plan to grant India consular access to death row convict Kulbhushan Jadhav for a second time.

Mr. Jadhav, 49, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017, following which India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ), seeking a stay on the sentence and further remedies.

Charge d’Affaires at the High Commission in Islamabad Gaurav Ahluwalia met Mr. Jadhav on September 2 for two hours after Pakistan granted consular access to the retired Navy officer following a directive from the ICJ in July.

“There is no other meeting planned,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said.

Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Mr. Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.

However, India says he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Pak forcing Kulbhushan Jadhav to parrot false narrative to help its case

A vehicle carrying a diplomat leaves the foreign ministry following a meeting with Kulbhushan Jadhav, in Islamabad on September 2, 2019.   | Photo Credit: AP

Raveesh Kumar said Monday’s consular access is a part of the “binding obligations” of Pakistan

Pakistan is compelling Kulbhushan Jadhav to convey a version of events that will help Islamabad's case against him, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday. India's official statement came after Pakistan allowed an Indian diplomat to meet Mr Jadhav according to the July 17 verdict of the INternational Court of Justice (ICJ).

Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar, declared that India will decide the future course of action in the case after a detailed report from the Charge d' Affaires of High Commission of India in Islamabad who met with Mr Jadhav, and said, "..it was clear that Shri Jadhav appeared to be under extreme pressure to parrot a false narrative to bolster Pakistan's untenable claims."

India maintains that Kulbhushan Jadhav is a former navy official of India and was running a legitimate business in the Iranian port of Chabahar  from where he was abducted by the Pakistani security agencies and their collaborators. Pakistan however continues to claim that he remained in government service and handed him a death sentence for alleged acts of sabotage and terrorism.

 

The official statement maintained that Pakistan had committed "egregious violation" of the Vienna Convention, 1963 that allows for prompt consular access in such cases. India had been demanding consular access to Mr Jadhav since his arrest in 2016. Before the actual meeting between Mr Jadhav and Gaurav Ahluwalia, Indian Charge d' Affaires, MEA had urged Pakistan that the consular access to be granted to Kulbhushan Jadhav should be free and without restrictions.

India called upon Pakistan for "effective review and reconsideration" of the death sentence of Mr Jadhav which was given by a military tribunal in Pakistan. India termed the trial "farcical" and expressed commitment to ensure that Mr Jadhav is brought back home to his family in Mumbai.

External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar briefed Mr Jadhav's mother after the consular official concluded his meeting. Pakistan had declined to give consular access to Mr Jadhav earlier though his mother and wife were allowed to meet him in December 2017. India had complained about the restrictive conditions of that meeting and had urged Pakistan to provide unhindered consular access to assess Mr Jadhav's well being.

Following Monday's meeting, Pakistan claimed that it had provided "unimpeded" and "uninterrupted" consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. "Consular access was provided at 1200 hours and lasted for two hours, in the presence of officials of the Government of Pakistan. On Indian request, there was no restriction on the language of communication," a press release from Pakistan's foreign office spokesperson said.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

India accepts Pakistan’s offer of consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

Kulbhushan Jadhav. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Charge d’Affaires at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad Gaurav Ahluwalia will meet Jadhav, sources said

India has accepted the consular access given by Pakistan to death-row convict Kulbhushan Jadhav, official sources said on September 2.

India reminded Pakistan that the consular access to be granted to Kulbhushan Jadhav should be free and without restrictions. The statement came even as the Ministry of External Affairs said that it will go ahead with the procedure of consular access to be granted later today.

On Sunday, Pakistan said it would grant consular access to Jadhav on Monday in line with the judgement in his case by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

 

"Today after victory in the ICJ, India will be proceeding for consular access to Shri Jadhav. Indian Charge d Affaires, Gaurav Ahluwalia, willl be meeting Shri Jadhav. We hope that Pakistan will ensure right atmosphere so that the meeting is free, fair, meaningful and effective in keeping with the letter and spirit of the ICJ orders," said a Government source.

The consular access to Mr Jadhav is being granted three years after he was captured by Pakistan. India maintains that he is a former navy official of India and was running a legitimate business in the Iranian port of Chabahar. Pakistan however continues to claim that he remained in government service and blames him for sabotage.  

(With inputs from PTI)

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet Indian officials on September 2

Kulbhushan Jadhav. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Consular access is in line with ICJ judgment, says Islamabad.

Pakistan will provide consular access to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav on Monday, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Sunday.

Ministry Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal tweeted: “Consular access for Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, a serving Indian naval officer and RAW operative, is being provided on Monday 2 September 2019, in line with Vienna Convention on Consular relations, ICJ judgement & the laws of Pakistan.”

Dr. Faisal added that Commander Jadhav remains in Pakistan’s custody “for espionage, terrorism and sabotage.” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had confirmed the news earlier in the day.

After the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan agreed to provide consular access to Mr. Jadhav, 49, who was arrested in Balochistan province in March 2016. He was sentenced to death in April 2017.

“Commander Jadhav remains in Pakistan’s custody for espionage, terrorism and sabotage,” he said.

 

India said on August 29 it had asked for “immediate, effective and unhindered” consular access and was in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels.

However, Mr. Faisal’s tweets on September 1 didn’t say if the access was unhindered as demanded by India.

On August 1, the Pakistan Foreign Office said Mr. Jadhav would be granted consular access the next day. However, the meeting, which was scheduled for 3 p.m. on August 2, did not materialise amid differences between India and Pakistan on the terms of the access.

On July 17, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence and grant consular access to India without further delay.

One of the conditions put by Pakistan reportedly was the presence of a Pakistani official when Mr. Jadhav is allowed to meet Indian officials. India rejected it, insisting that the access be “unimpeded” and be in the light of the ICJ judgment.

Pakistan says its security forces arrested Mr. Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.

(With inputs from PTI) 

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Pakistan silent on granting consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

Kulbhushan Jadhav. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

India on Thursday sent a communication to Pakistan making clear its position that the consular access must be “unimpeded” and should be in the light of the judgement by the ICJ.

Pakistan kept mum on granting consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a day after Islamabad said it would allow Indian officials to meet the retired Navy officer on Friday.

Jadhav, 49, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017 following which India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ), seeking a stay on his death sentence and further remedies.

 

 On July 17, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.

Following the ICJ order, India has asked Pakistan to grant full consular access to Jadhav at the earliest in “full compliance and conformity” of the world court’s verdict.

On Thursday, Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) said Jadhav will be granted consular access on Friday, two weeks after the world court ordered Islamabad to allow Indian officials to meet him.

“We have offered the Indian High Commission to avail consular access on this Friday. The reply from the Indian side is awaited,” Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said at the weekly media briefing.

However, the FO on Friday remained silent on granting consular access to the Indian national.

India on Thursday sent a communication to Pakistan making clear its position that the consular access must be “unimpeded” and should be in the light of the judgement by the ICJ.

There were reports that Pakistan had put some conditions to grant consular access to Jadhav.

One of the conditions reportedly was the presence of a Pakistani official when the Indian prisoner is allowed to meet Indian officials as part of the consular access.

In its 42-page order, the world court, while rejecting Pakistan’s objection to admissibility of the Indian application in the case, held that “a continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review” of the sentence of Jadhav.

The bench, however, rejected some remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court’s decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.

The ICJ upheld India’s stand that Pakistan had “breached” the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which gives countries the right to consular access when their nationals are arrested abroad.

Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.

However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

India seeks unimpeded consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court. PTI PTI  

Pakistan was asked to provide consular access to him by ICJ on July 17.

India on Friday sought an unimpeded consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, death row prisoner in Pakistan.

This comes a day after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) declared that it was evaluating Pakistan’s proposal to grant diplomatic access to him.

Pakistan was asked yesterday to provide unimpeded consular access to Jadhav, in an environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal in the light of the orders of the ICJ [International Court of Justice]. Their response was awaited, said a source familiar with the discussion conducted through diplomatic channels. 

While Pakistani reports suggested that consular access was to be granted to Indian diplomats at 3 p.m. on Friday, India had declined to confirm the time and date of the meeting. 

Sources said India had not yet set a deadline for Pakistan’s response. “They offered us consular access to Jadhav on Friday. In response, we have sent a note verbale conveying our position,” said the source hinting that the negotiation on securing normal consular access is expected to continue.

Pakistan was asked to provide consular access to Mr. Jadhav by the ICJ on July 17. In a judgement that was seen as a setback to Pakistan's trial of him, the ICJ asked for consular access to him "without further delay.” It found  violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by Pakistan not granting consular access to him.

Article 36 clearly states that diplomats of the “sending State” should be “free” to communicate with the national in custody during a meeting. It means that an enabling environment for conversation should be created during such a meeting.

On Thursday, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar refused to disclose the modalities of the Pakistani proposal for consular access even as it was understood that Pakistan was following its own methods in granting Indian diplomats access to Mr. Jadhav

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Pakistan grants consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

Kulbhushan Jadhav   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Jadhav will be granted the right to get in touch with diplomats and officials from India

A couple of days after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague urged Pakistan to grant consular access to death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav, Islamabad on Friday declared that he will be granted the right to get in touch with diplomats and officials from India.

“Pursuant to the decision of the ICJ, Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav has been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1 (b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. As a responsible state, Pakistan will grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out,” stated a press release from the office of the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

India emphatically said on Thursday that Pakistan should obey the ICJ verdict. Pakistan can immediately grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav acting upon the multiple pending requests on the matter from India, a diplomatic source had said.

The ICJ had pointed out in the verdict that Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention by not granting consular access to the former Indian navy official who was given a death sentence by a Pakistani military court in 2017.

“Pakistan already has several formal requests from us regarding consular access to Jadhav. We hope they act on these requests now without delay,” the diplomatic source had said, indicating that there is no need for a fresh request from India for getting access to Jadhav.

India made several submissions to Pakistan for allowing Indian officials to visit Jadhav in custody but they did not get any positive response from Islamabad.

On Thursday, reiterating the official position of India, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said at the weekly briefing that Paksistan should comply with the ICJ directive and provide consular access to Jadhav without “any further delay”.

The ICJ, in its 42-page verdict, instructed Pakistan not to carry out the death sentence awarded to Jadhav and urged Islamabad to review and reconsider the sentence.

“Islamic Republic of Pakistan deprived the Republic of India of the right to communicate with and have access to Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation, and thereby breached the obligations incumbent upon it under Article 36, paragraph 1 (a) and (c), of the Vienna Convention,” said the ICJ in a press release.

India’s lead counsel had Harish Salve stated on Wednesday that he expected Pakistani lawyers to defend Jadhav in the court of law in Pakistan.

Pakistan has maintained that Jadhav did not carry his authentic Indian passport while entering its territory and alleged that he carried a fake travel document that depicted his name as ‘Hussain Mubarak Patel’ and that he was responsible for acts of sabotage inside Pakistan.

In response, Mr. Kumar on Thursday said it was time for Pakistan “to act” and help Indian consular officers to go and meet Jadhav, who has not been seen for months. Jadhav was last seen in December 2017 when his mother and wife had travelled to Pakistan to see him at the time of Christmas.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Review Kulbhushan Jadhav sentence, grant consular access, ICJ tells Pakistan

A placard depicting Kulbhushan Jadhav is pictured in Mumbai on July 17, 2019 in the neighbourhood where he grew up.   | Photo Credit: AFP

World court rejects claim that the Vienna Convention doesn’t apply in a ‘spy case’

In a major verdict that accepted India’s plea that former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav’s trial under espionage and terror charges in Pakistan violated international law, the International Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that Pakistan should “review and reconsider” his conviction and death sentence.

The court, based at The Hague in the Netherlands, also ruled that Pakistan should give the Indian government consular access to Mr. Jadhav, something Pakistan has failed to do in the three years since his arrest, and to stay the execution of his sentence, pending the review process.

The ICJ held that the denial of consular access constituted a “breach” of article 36 para 1(b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) which Pakistan is a signatory to, which stipulates that all foreign nationals arrested must be given access to their government or local embassy, and rejected Pakistan’s counter-claim that the Vienna convention didn’t apply in a case of espionage.

Review Kulbhushan Jadhav sentence, grant consular access, ICJ tells Pakistan

It also upheld India’s contention that the Vienna convention overrides a 2008 bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan on consular access.

Significantly, all 16 judges on the UN judicial organ’s panel ruled unanimously that the ICJ’s jurisdiction held over the case. On six other contentions, including on the comprehensive violation of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan, the immediate granting of consular access to Mr. Jadhav, an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence”, and a continued stay of execution, the ICJ panel ruled 15-1 in India’s favour. Pakistani Judge, Justice Jillani, was the lone dissenter on those rulings.

Pakistan’s government also claimed a victory of sorts over the judgment, pointing out that the court had not accepted India’s written and oral submissions asking for the ICJ to annul the Pakistani verdict, and to direct Mr. Jadhav’s release.

“Commander Jadhav shall remain in Pakistan. He shall be treated in accordance with the laws of Pakistan,” tweeted Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. However diplomats said that ordering Mr. Jadhav’s release was never really an expectation from the ICJ.

“This was a big victory, and as much as India would have hoped for at this stage,” said Gautam Bambawale, explaining that “the ICJ never gives directions beyond its authority as it cannot implement them.”

Mr. Bambawale was the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan in March 2016, when Mr. Jadhav was arrested by the Pakistani government for ‘spying’ and allegedly plotting terror acts in Balochistan, and had made several appeals to Pakistan for access to Mr. Jadhav at the time.

Subsequently, Pakistan held a secret trial of Mr. Jadhav in a military court, where evidence and processes were not made public. On May 8, 2017, after the Pakistani court convicted and sentenced Mr. Jadhav, India went to the ICJ as a last resort of appeal.

India has rarely ever approached the ICJ, as it considers the UN body a “third party” in bilateral matters. Government officials say they hope that Pakistan, having lost the case at the ICJ, will swiftly accord consular access to Mr. Jadhav, and begin a review of his trial and a reconsideration of his sentencing at the earliest. If not, or if the review is considered unfair, New Delhi could return to The Hague once again and make another appeal.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

International Court of Justice to deliver verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case on July 17

File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is expected to pronounce its verdict on July 17 in the case relating to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in Pakistan, official sources said on Thursday.

Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India approached the ICJ in May 2017 against Pakistan for denying consular access to Jadhav. India had also challenged the “farcical” trial by the military court of Pakistan against the 48-year-old. The ICJ on May 18, 2017 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case.

The International Court held a four-day public hearing of the case in February during which both India and Pakistan submitted their detailed pleas and responses.

India based its case on two broad issues- the breach of the Vienna Convention on Consular Access and the process of resolution. India also urged the ICJ to annul Jadhav’s death sentence and order his immediate release, saying the verdict by a Pakistani military court was based on a “farcical” case and it failed to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process.

Pakistan on its part insisted that the Indian Navy officer was a “spy” and not a businessman. They claimed that its security forces arrested Jadhav from the Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran

However, India maintained that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India

Pakistan had rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wanted to get information gathered by its “spy”. However, Pakistan facilitated a meeting between Jadhav with his mother and wife in Islamabad on December 25, 2017.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan committed to implementing ICJ’s decision in, says Official

Pakistani journalists watch a video message of imprisoned Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav at a press conference in Islamabad. File   | Photo Credit: AP

The ICJ has set a timetable for the public hearing in the case from Febraury 18 to 21 in The Hague and Harish Salve, who represents India in the case, is expected to argue first on Monday

Pakistan is committed to implementing the decision of the International Court of Justice(ICJ) in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, a senior Pakistani official said as the country’s delegation left for the Hague on Friday for the oral proceedings in the case that will commence at the world court from February 18.

Indian national Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India moved the ICJ in May the same year against the verdict.

A 10-member bench of the ICJ on May 18, 2017, had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.

 

Pakistan’s Attorney General Anwar Mansoor will lead the Pakistani delegation at the ICJ while Director General South Asia Mohammad Faisal will lead the Foreign Office side, a senior official told Dawn.

The ICJ has set a timetable for the public hearing in the case from Febraury 18 to 21 in The Hague and Harish Salve, who represents India in the case, is expected to argue first on February 18.

The English Queen’s Counsel Khawar Qureshi will make submissions on February 19 from Islamabad’s side. Then India will reply on February 20 while Islamabad will make its closing submissions on February 21, the daily said.

It is expected that the ICJ’s decision may be delivered by the summer of 2019.

“We are fully prepared with our strongest evidence being the valid Indian passport recovered from Commander Jadhav with a Muslim name,” the official told the Dawn, adding that Pakistan was committed to implementing the decision, irrespective of what decision came from the ICJ.

In reply to a question about Iran, the official said the Pakistan government was convinced that Iran had no role in Jadhav’s episode though he remained there for some time. “India wants to drag Iran into this dispute but we will not let it happen,” he said.

In New Delhi, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday declined to go into the details of the case.

“The oral proceedings on the International Court of Justice are commencing on February 18. India will present its case before the court. Since the matter is subjudice it is not appropriate for me to state our position in public.Whatever we have to do, we will do at the court,” he said in response to a question.

Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.

India had approached the ICJ for “egregious” violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, by Pakistan in Jadhav’s case.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Kulbhushan Jadhav ICJ hearing | Live updates: Jadhav tried under espionage law in military court, says Pakistan

The Indian team: Lawyer Harish Salve with V.D. Sharma and Deepak Mittal, Joint Secretaries, External Affairs Ministry, at The Hague.  

On the third day, India said that the judicial review process available to Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan was “hopelessly insufficient.”

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Monday began a four-day public hearing of the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

India moved the ICJ in May in 2017 against the “farcical trial” by the military court against 48-year-old Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer.

The first day of oral arguments concluded with India accusing Pakistan of “knowingly, wilfully and brazenly” flouting the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

 

Pakistan, on day two of the hearing, asked that India’s application to have the ICJ order Kulbhushan Jadhav’s release be dismissed as inadmissible.

Pakistan’s counsel Khawar Qureshi argued on Tuesday in a heated, and often personal presentation that repeatedly referenced Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused India of engaging in “political theatre,” “grandstanding,” and presenting its case in “bad faith.”

 

On the third day, India said that the judicial review process available to Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan was “hopelessly insufficient,” while Islamabad was basing its case entirely on claims around a passport and an “extracted confession.”

10.15 p.m.


Mr. Khan says that the process of judicial review in Pakistan is robust. India seeks relief, which they cannot claim in this court, hey says. It is the convict’s choice to seek review and reconsideration, adds Mr. Khan.

With Mr. Khan’s arguments, the hearing comes to an end. The court retires for deliberation, as oral arguments have come to a close.

10.00 p.m.

He hits out at India for the counsel's remarks about lack of "trained independent judge" in Peshawar High Court. Just because an appeal has been filed against a court's decision, it doesn't mean the country doesn't possess an effective review, he says.

Kulbhushan Jadhav was tried under the espionage law in the military court, says Mr. Qureshi. India’s claim for relief remains as “far-fetched now as it was then,” he says. He concludes that India’s claim for relief must be dismissed or declared inadmissible.

Anwar Masoor Khan, for Pakistan, says that some trials cannot be made public for reasons of national security. But, he says that fair trials are an absolute right in Pakistan. He brings up the case of Afzal Guru. He calls India’s allegations “unwarranted and concocted” and brings up the case of the Samjhauta Express which was burnt, and the 2002 violence in Gujarat. He says India has become the judge and executioner in the Pulwama attack.

He also cites the use of pellet guns by the Indian Army, and rape of the 8-year-old girl in Kashmir. The Indian Army’s court of inquire dismissed all charges against officers charged with killing civilians, he says.

9.50 p.m.

The Preamble the VCCR makes it clear that the position as at customary international law was unaffected in the absence of express provisions to the contrary in the VCCR.

He argues that there is no need to read down Article 36.  He says the Preamble of Vienna convention is not the actual law and international law prevails when matters are not expressly regulation by the VCCR.

9.40 p.m.

Mr. Qureshi argues India has adopted a "blatantly contradictory position" unlike Pakistan.  Referring to the passport of Jadhav, he says it was rhetoric that has been used throughout by India by way of pure and hollow response on this issue.

He accuses India of seeking to twist the facts and break the law to suit its purpose. "India's conduct connot go unchecked, " he says.

9.30 p.m.


Mr. Qureshi calls NSA Ajit Doval as “India’s self-styled superspy.” He also says that if Mr. Doval went to London, there is a vancancy for an actor to play James Bond.

Mr. Qureshi says that providing an explanation for India’s statement that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran would expose the fiction that it was. Pakistan asks how India’s approach can be anything other than wholly improper, if not absurd. Is the approach of India as it suggests really to “hammer the facts, hammer the law”? he asks. He says that India seeks to break the law ti suit itself.

9.15 p.m.


Mr. Qureshi says, “India now, finally, asserts that the report of the Military Law Experts is ‘irrelevant’ and should be ‘completely disregarded’... After having doctored the report, India enthusiastically embraced the report as being supportive of its conclusions.”

He also says that case is not only about denial of consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. He adds that India believes it has no duty to ensure accuracy in its pleadings or to effect timely corrections, and there are no consequences for its blatant inaccuracies otherwise. “India must accept that it placed an inaccurate document in the court,” says Mr. Qureshi.

“India’s position is that of Wonderland. Indeed it is of a rotund character with a fragile cranium. Pakistan is not the one who brought him into this court,” he says in an apparent reference to India’s Counsel Harish Salve, who had on Wednesday slammed the language and tone of Qureshi’s opening arguments, and his reference to Humpty Dumpty.

9 p.m.


The court convenes, and Justice Jillani has arrived. He is introduced to the court. The court rises as Justice Jillani makes the solemn declaration. He has now been sworn in.

Khawar Qureshi, counsel for Pakistan begins his counter-arguments. He says that India did not reply succinctly to his arguments. Instead India criticised Pakistan for not embracing “studied moderation” in response to India’s repeated excursions from truth and reality to, the realms of irrelevance and fiction, he says.

Mr. Qureshi says that India’s attempt to drown out the truth with background noise will not work. “India persists in contumelious conduct. India fails to engage with the evidence that states made an exception to espionage prior to the VCCR being adopted — that state practice was unaffected by VCCR.”

He also says that India is driven to deny the Peshawar High Court decision of October 18, 2018 any meaning or relevance..

8.45 p.m.


Pakistan media reports state that Chief Justice Jillani is expected to attend the hearing today.

He had been unable to be here for the first three hearings, but he hasn’t been replaced as ad hoc judge because he’s been taking part in proceedings and could continue to do so by following the proceedings either via transcripts or watching the video.

8.40 p.m.


Judgements by the ICJ are made on average within six months of the hearings concluding, though this can vary from a shorter period to a couple of years.

The decision of the court is binding, and non-appealable, though it is possible to make a request for interpretation if there is a dispute between the two sides as to what the judgement means or what its scope is.

There is also a possibility to request a review of the judgement if “matter comes to light” that the court was previously unaware of and which could be a “decisive factor.” While requests for interpretation have on occasion been accepted, no requests for review have been successful to date.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Kulbhushan Jadhav ICJ hearing day 3 | As it happened

Kulbhushan Jadhav  

Pakistan, on day two of the hearing, asked that India’s application to have the ICJ order Kulbhushan Jadhav’s release be dismissed as inadmissible.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Monday began a four-day public hearing of the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

India moved the ICJ in May in 2017 against the “farcical trial” by the military court against 48-year-old Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer.

The first day of oral arguments concluded with India accusing Pakistan of “knowingly, wilfully and brazenly” flouting the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Read Day 1's arguments here.

Pakistan, on day two of the hearing, asked that India’s application to have the ICJ order Kulbhushan Jadhav’s release be dismissed as inadmissible.

Pakistan’s counsel Khawar Qureshi argued on Tuesday in a heated, and often personal presentation that repeatedly referenced Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused India of engaging in “political theatre,” “grandstanding,” and presenting its case in “bad faith.”

Read Day 2's arguments here.

Here are the live updates:

9:00 p.m.

President Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf clears the air on appointment of ad-hoc judge for Pakistan. He says the transcripts will be made available to Justice Jilani and he will continue to participate.

"At this moment, we wish him a speedy recovery," the President says ruling out a replacement for Justice Jilani. He also says further decision could be made if necessary in due course.

Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani was the ad-hoc judge chosen by Pakistan. He was rushed to the hospital on the first day of hearing after complaints of breathlessness. He is undergoing treatment for cardiac ailment now.

8:50 p.m.

Harish Salve fires salvo against Pakistan. He accuses the country of harbouring terrorists in its soil. Civilians are tried in military courts and promptly given punishments, but cases of heinous crimes are lying in courts. Even countries like Iran have said terror strikes in their land were carried out by those from Pakistan.

The time has come for this Court to make Article 36 a potent weapon for protection of human rights, Harish Salve says as his concluding remark.

India makes its final submission. Joint Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs, Deepak Mittal, reads out relief sought by India.

8:45 p.m.

Harish Salve points out that in many countries a military court cannot try a civilian. He also recalls how Peshawar High Court raised the same question and Pakistan has appealed against it in their Supreme Court.

Domestic law is never a defence against a violation of international law, he says.

Mr. Salve draws the ICJ's attention to the Kasab case. Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist caught alive in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack was sentenced to death by a special court. Mr. Salve points out, how the Indian Supreme Court, carefully reviewed the charges before upholding the death penalty. Kasab was a Pakistan national. "This is called review," he says.

8:30 p.m.

Mr. Salve accuses Pakistan of “knowingly, wilfully and brazenly” flouting Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Access, and attacks the “farcical” military trial of Jadhav who was found guilty and sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in 2017.

He calls on the court to annul the verdict of the military court.

8:20 p.m.

In Tuesday's arguments, Pakistan quoted two articles published in Indian magazines to prove their point. Harish Salve, India's counsel, quotes the same articles and says Jadhav was not arrested in Iran-Pakistan border town Sarawan as claimed by Pakistan.

8:10 p.m.

During the second round of public hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, India strongly objects to the abusive language of Pakistan’s counsel. Harish Salve, on behalf of India, reiterates that Pakistan never allowed consular access to Jadhav.

Countering Pakistan's claims that they were unsure of Jadhav's nationality as the reason for denying consular access, Mr. Salve says India has never said Jadhav wasn't an Indian national.

If Pakistan believes Jadhav's confession, why are they doubting his nationality? he asks.

Mr. Salve accepts that Jadhav did carry a fake passport, which is a crime in India too. But does that warrant a dealth penalty? he asks. Even under the laws of Pakistan, possessing a fake passport doesn't warrant a death penalty, he argues.

Just because he carries such a passport, it doesn't mean he was there to carry out terror activities, Mr. Salve says.

8.00 p.m.

 

Oral arguments set to continue

Both India and Pakistan will get an hour-and-a-half to present their final arguments. "Second round must not be a repetition of the first," said Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf on Tuesday, at the conclusion of the hearing on Day 2.

 

7.50 p.m.

Jadhav's arrest and sentencing

Jadhav, a former naval officer, was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to death by Pakistan in April 2017 over allegations of espionage and abetting terror, after three-and-a-half months of trial.

In May that year, India filed an application to launch proceedings against Pakistan for “egregious violations” of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, accusing Pakistan of failing to comply with its obligations under Article 36 of that convention. It argued that Pakistan had failed to inform Jadhav of his rights and had denied him consular access, despite repeated requests for this to happen.

India also applied for provisional measures to stay the execution of Jadhav, arguing that without such a measure it feared that he could be executed before the full case could be heard.

 

 

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

As it happened: Day 2 of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice

Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi speaking at the second day of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on February 19, 2019.  

Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi accuses India of sitting on a "flimsy wall of lies".

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Monday began a four-day public hearing of the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

India moved the ICJ in May in 2017 against the “farcical trial” by the military court against 48-year-old Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer.

The first day of oral arguments concluded with India accusing Pakistan of “knowingly, wilfully and brazenly” flouting the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Read Day 1's arguments here.

Here are the updates:

(With inputs from Vidya Ram and PTI)

5.30 p.m.

 

Court is adjourned.

Oral arguments will continue on February 20, 2019.

Both India and Pakistan will get an hour-and-a-half each to present their final arguments. "Second round must not be a repetition of the first," says Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf.

 

5.20 p.m.

 

Pakistan counsel Khawar Qureshi asks the ICJ to dismiss the case.

A page from Pakistan's presentation, which was shown by Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi on the second day of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on February 19, 2019.

A page from Pakistan's presentation, which was shown by Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi on the second day of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on February 19, 2019.  

 

"India has made no other claims for relief. So if its all-or-nothing attempt fails, it should not be entitled to any relief," he says.

 

A page from Pakistan's presentation, which was shown by Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi on the second day of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on February 19, 2019.

A page from Pakistan's presentation, which was shown by Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi on the second day of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on February 19, 2019.  

 

"This case is not about consular access. This case is political theatre, grandstanding. It is an impermissible use of the court," he observes.

 

5.00 p.m.

 

"Why choose someone sitting nine hours away from Pakistan in Chhabahar and kidnap him and force him to give a confession," says Mr. Qureshi. “India continues to assert without a molecule of evidence,” that Jadhav had retired and was a businessman kidnapped from Iran, he asserts.

A page from Pakistan's presentation, which was shown by Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi on the second day of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on February 19, 2019.

A page from Pakistan's presentation, which was shown by Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi on the second day of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on February 19, 2019.  

Mr. Qureshi questions as to why India didn't raise the dispute in 2016, when Jadhav was arrested. "Why did it come directly to the ICJ for provisional measures" he asks.

A page from Pakistan's presentation, which was shown by Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi on the second day of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on February 19, 2019.

A page from Pakistan's presentation, which was shown by Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi on the second day of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on February 19, 2019.  

 

 

4.45 p.m.

 

"This is not an allegation," says Mr. Qureshi. "The allegation that Commander Jadhav is a spy is proven. Allegations of espionage are extremely rare. His confession is highly credible and he was equipped with a state-sponsored campaign of violence and terror in Pakistan, namely the Passport."

 

4.30 p.m

 

Court reconvenes.

Mr. Qureshi brings up India's objections to the procedures in the military courts in Pakistan. He reads out the Pakistani Army rules in defence of the court.

On the matter of consular access, he questions the applicability of these requirements to cases where national security was at issue and individuals accused of espionage, reports Vidya Ram.

He describes India’s efforts to get an acquittal as “outlandish,” insisting that the military court trial had been subject to stringent safeguards, and that genuine opportunities were available to him to challenge his conviction.

Mr. Qureshi cites other examples from the United States and the erstwhile USSR where consular access was not provided in espionage cases under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR). He says that the only exemption in state pratices to access to those held on the charges of espionage was family, as family could visit the person in question.

"India's main point is that, if an exception exists as a matter of State practice for consular access in the context of espionage, some States could manufacture an allegation of espionage to deprive the individual of consular access. India's main point I will accept, only if it had any substance," he says.

4.00 p.m.

 

Court adjourns for a break.

“India’s repost and repeated references to propaganda is subterfuge,” Mr. Qureshi says before the break in a heated presentation. He is asked twice to slow down by the President of the Court, and on several occasions he also refers directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

 

3.45 p.m.

 

"At no material point time [even now] has India furnished any evidence that Commander Jadhav is an Indian national, despite repeated requests," says Mr. Qureshi in his arguments. "At no stage can India say that Pakistan engaged in any clear and unequivocal representation made directly to India [with the intention of effect that India detrimentally relied upon the same], to the effect that India waived the requirement for India to establish the Indian nationality of Commander Jadhav," he says.

 

A page from Pakistan's presentation, which was shown by Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi on the second day of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on February 19, 2019.

A page from Pakistan's presentation, which was shown by Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi on the second day of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on February 19, 2019.  

 

Among those to have corroborated the authenticity of the passport and its issuance by Indian authorities was a former UK Immigration Officer, Mr. Qureshi notes in his arguments, slamming India’s dismissal of him as a “purported” expert. “The passport – we mustn’t forget the passport,” he says.

He points to an statement made by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval in 2014. He that Mr. Doval wanted to "to tackle Pakistan."

During 2014 speech, Mr. Doval had said, "Pakistan's vulnerability is many times higher than that of India. Once they know that India has shifted its gear from the defensive mode to defensive offence, they will find that it is unaffordable for them. You can do one Mumbai, you may lose Balochistan. There is no nuclear war involved and there is no troops engagement. If you know the tricks, we know the tricks better than you."

3.30 p.m.

 

Mr. Qureshi describes India's reaction to an alleged passport found with Jadhav. " 'Questions were aimed at propagating falsehood and propaganda' was how India responded," he says.

He also recounts Jadhav's alleged career at the Home office, at the National Document Forgery (NDF) unit. "To describe him as a 'purported expert' after his career in security services, and this document as propaganda, is disgraceful," he says. "India is guilty of egregious conduct of providing Commander Jadhav with a passport and travel documents."

 

3.00 p.m.

 

Our Correspondent Vidya Ram writes:

Pakistan’s attorney general Anwar Mansoor Khan kicks off the first day of Pakistan’s oral arguments in the case with a sharply political attack that contrasted with India’s more understated presentations on Monday, accusing India of causing terrorism and training terrorists to act in Pakistan, and sending trained spies to “fund, and create chaos” there.

He says Pakistan suffered more than 74,000 casualties and fatalities due to terrorism, caused “mainly by the interference of our neighbour India,” and accuses RAW – which he describes as India’s Brutal” foreign intelligence agency – of sending Jadhav to “assist plan and cause terrorism” in Balochistan and Sindh provinces.

“This much he admitted before an independent judicial magistrate,” he tells the 15 judges of the ICJ in his opening remarks.

Mr. Qureshi also accuses India of sitting on a "flimsy wall of lies".

Mr. Qureshi references the Frontline Magazine's story on Jadhav and RAW as part of his contention that India has not answered "fundamental" questions about the case.

 

2.45 p.m.

 

The ICJ has refused to entertain Pakistan’s request to adjourn the hearing to appoint a new ad hoc judge, reports PTI.

Pakistan, which is presenting its case today, asks the judge to adjourn the case, citing the illness of its ad hoc judge.

Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, ad hoc judge for Pakistan in the ICJ suffered a cardiac attack ahead of the hearing on Monday.

Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan, who is representing Pakistan, at the start of the hearing says: “We applied our right provided to us that we can appoint an ad hoc judge.

“But since our judge is indispensable at this point. In light of the above, Pakistan would like to place before the court that another judge to be sworn in which right has been provided under article 35-5 and the judge be given ample amount of time to go through the briefings before going ahead with arguments,” he says.

The court declines Pakistan’s plea and asks it to continue argument in the absence of the ad hoc judge.

 

2.30 p.m.

 

The first day of oral arguments in the case concluded with India requesting the court to annul the verdict of the military court and direct Pakistan to set Jadhav free on the basis of the “review and reconsideration” process that would be available to him in that country.

 

2.15 p.m.

 

Jadhav, a former naval officer, was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to death by Pakistan in April 2017 over allegations of espionage and abetting terror, after three-and-a-half months of trial.

In May that year, India filed an application to launch proceedings against Pakistan for “egregious violations” of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, accusing Pakistan of failing to comply with its obligations under Article 36 of that convention. It argued that Pakistan had failed to inform Jadhav of his rights and had denied him consular access, despite repeated requests for this to happen.

India also applied for provisional measures to stay the execution of Jadhav, arguing that without such a measure it feared that he could be executed before the full case could be heard.

 

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

As it happened: Day 1 of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice

Kulbhushan Jadhav. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The judgement is typically expected within six months and is based on the decision by a simple majority of judges

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday began a four-day public hearing in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

India moved the ICJ in May in 2017 against the “farcical trial” by the military court of Pakistan against 48-year-old Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer.

Here are the live updates:

4.20 p.m.

 

The ICJ reconvenes.

"Jadhav’s trial by military court hopelessly fails to satisfy even minimum standards of due process & should be declared "unlawful"," says Mr. Salve. "Serious charges need strict adherence to due process. Inhuman detention is a violation of universal rights."

Non-observance of 36 1B of the Vienna Convention is prejudicial to the guarantees of due process of law, says Mr. Salve.

"If article 36 grants rights of consular access in all cases including where allegations of such kind are leveled, then demanding those can't be an abuse of those rights,"  he adds.

"India has always offered consular access to Pakistan, even if those arrested were caught red-handed. It is another matter that Pakistan never availed of the offers," says Mr. Salve.

"We have not seen the evidence against Jadhav. We have not seen the judgement of the military court. All we have is the doctored confessions over and over again,"  says Mr. Salve.

"Pakistan has knowing, wilfully and brazenly violated Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. Honorouble judges, I respectfully submit that consequences must follow," says Mr. Salve.

4.00 p.m.

 

It has been confirmed that former Pakistan Chief Justice Jilani, who was unable to sit for the hearing, has been taken to the hospital. He had taken ill in the morning, reports Vidya Ram.

 

3.30 p.m.

On the Vienna Convention

Harish Salve reads out the various sections and articles of the Vienna Convention under which foreign prisoners fall. "India and Pakistan have a bilateral agreement on consular access," he says.

"The Vienna Convention is a powerful tool that ensures the facility of consular access to foreign nationals who have been put on trial in foreign trial," he says. "Article 36 of the Vienna Convention says that a country must be informed about the detention of its citizens but Pakistan did not inform India about his arrest."

Without consular access, he says, "India has no information on what happened to Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan."

The court adjourns for a break.

2.30 p.m.

ICJ Hearing begins

Hearing begins. Former Pakistan Chief Justice Jilani, who was due to be sworn in as an ad hoc judge in the case is unable to sit for the Monday's hearing. The court is yet to confirm why.

ICJ judge reads out the case history.

Ex-solicitor Harish Salve, who leads India's legal team calls Pakistan's action an "egregious violation of the Vienna Convention".  He says there are only two broad issues in Jadhav case, including breach of Vienna Convention on consular access.

" There is no manner of doubt that Pakistan was using this as a propaganda tool. Pakistan was bound to grant consular access without delay," news agency ANI reports Mr. Salve as saying. 

"Pakistan did not provide credible evidence and failed to disclose specific offences in the Jadhav case," he adds.

Mr. Salve recounts the chain events leading to Jadhav's imprisonment and India's attempts to attain consular access to him. "India's request (for consular access) did not evoke any response. 13 reminders were sent to Pakistan by India on various dates."

India asks for the ICJ to declare the Pakistani military trial of Jadhav and the lack of consular access accorded to him unlawful, and to direct his immediate release.

Mr. Salve also says Pakistan filed the FIR almost a month after the arrest of Jadhav.

“In April 2016 and FIR was registered against Jadhav. In May 2016, Jadhav was interrogated, and India sent reminders for consular access across May, June, and July,” Mr. Salve says.

“India reminded Pakistan for consular access — 13 reminders were sent — but to no avail,” he says.

“Pakistan is embarrassed to disclose charges against Jadhav,” he says, adding that Pakistan did not inform Kulbhushan Jadhav of his rights.

2.20 p.m.

ICJ cases

The ICJ is the main judicial arm of the UN, established in 1945 to deal with “contentious” cases submitted to it by member states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it, but is not a criminal court. A judgment could be expected within months of the hearings.

India’s legal team is expected to be led by Harish Salve, and Pakistan’s by Khawar Qureshi, a London-based Queens Counsellor. While one of the ICJ judges – Dalveer Bhandari – is Indian, the former Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jilani will serve as an ad hoc judge on the case.

The case is only the fourth one involving a death sentence to be heard by the ICJ since the first in 1999, and the first that does not involve the US. The previous three cases involved Germany, Mexico and Paraguay.

 

2.10 p.m.

Three-hour hearing

The three-hour hearing will be split into two one and a half hour session preceded by the swearing in ceremony in of Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jilani as an ad hoc judge in the case. This will take the total number of judges hearing the case to 16, including India’s Dalveer Bhandari.

Deepak Mittal, joint secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs is India’s Agent, heading the team, with Harish Salve as Counsel. The Pakistani delegation is led by the Attorney General, Anwar Mansoor Khan, with Khawar Qureshi as counsel.

Following the four days of hearings, the judgement is typically expected within six months and is based on the decision by a simple majority of judges. Should there be an even split, the President has the casting vote.  The decision of the court is final, and without appeal though there are limited circumstances where parties can ask for revisions or interpretations of a verdict.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: World court to hold four-day public hearing from February 18, 2019

In this picture released by Pakistan Foreign Office, death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav speaks with his mother and wife through a glass screen at its building in Islamabad on December 25, 2017. Photo: Twitter/@ForeignOfficePk  

The hearings will be streamed live and on demand in English and French on the International Court of Justice’s website as well as on U.N. Web TV.

The International Court of Justice will hold a four-day public hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at The Hague starting February 18, 2019, a statement issued by the principal judicial organ of the United Nations said on October 3.

Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on spying charges in April 2017. India moved the ICJ in May 2017 against the verdict. The world court has halted Jadhav’s execution on India’s appeal pending the final verdict by it.

Both India and Pakistan have already submitted their detailed pleas and responses in the world court.

 

“The hearings will be streamed live and on demand (VOD) in English and French on the Court’s website as well as on UN Web TV, the United Nations online television channel,” said the press release issued by the ICJ.

Pakistan says its security forces arrested Jadhav from Balochistan Province in March 2016 after he reportedly entered the country from Iran.

In its submission to the ICJ, Pakistan had stated that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.

India denies all the charges and maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy and that he has no links with the government.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan to file second counter-memorial in ICJ on July 17

Pakistani journalists watch a video message of imprisoned Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav at a press conference in Islamabad. File   | Photo Credit: AP

It is in response to pleadings filed by India in the Hague based ICJ on April 17; Pakistan PM Nasirul Mulk was briefed about the case last week, ''The Express Tribune'' reported.

Pakistan will file its second counter-memorial on July 17 in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the conviction of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April last year on charges of espionage and terrorism, a media report said on July 12.

On January 23, the ICJ gave a timeline to both Pakistan and India for filing another round of memorials in the case.

Pakistan’s memorial will be in response to pleadings filed by India in the Hague based ICJ on April 17.

Top attorney Khawar Qureshi, who pleaded Pakistan’s case at the initial stage, briefed Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk about the case last week, The Express Tribune  reported.

Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan and other senior officials also attended the meeting.

According to the daily, the counter-memorial has been drafted by Mr. Qureshi. After the submission of the second counter-memorial, the ICJ will fix the matter for hearing, which is likely to take place next year.

 

A senior lawyer, who has expertise in international litigations, told the daily that there was no chance of hearing the case this year.

Even the hearing of other matters has already been fixed until March/April next year. Therefore, the Jadhav case would be listed in summer next year, he added.

India moved the ICJ in May last year after Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death.

On May 18, a 10-member bench of the ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case.

In its written pleadings, India had accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by not giving consular access to Jadhav. It argued that the convention did not say that such access would not be available to an individual arrested on espionage charge.

He was on a special mission, says Pak.

In response, Pakistan, through its counter-memorial on December 13 last, told the ICJ that the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 applied only to legitimate visitors and did not cover clandestine operations.

Pakistan said that “since India did not deny that Jadhav was travelling on a passport with an assumed Muslim name, they have no case to plead.” India did not explain how “a serving naval commander” was travelling under an assumed name.

“Since Jadhav was on active duty, it is obvious that he was a spy sent on a special mission.”Giving false identity to Jadhav, sending him for espionage and funding of terrorist activities were all some of the reasons that disentitled India from invoking the ICJ's jurisdiction, Pakistan said.

India terms trial by military court farcical

India had been maintaining that the trial of Jadhav by a military court in Pakistan was “farcical”.

Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.

However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India.

India had approached the ICJ for “egregious” violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, by Pakistan in the case.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Kulbhushan Jadhav to undergo another trial

In this March 29, 2016 photo, journalists look a image of Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016, during a press conference by Pakistan's army spokesman and the Information Minister, in Islamabad, Pakistan.   | Photo Credit: AP

He was arrested from restive Balochistan province in 2016.

After being sentenced to death on the charge of espionage, Pakistani authorities will now put alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav on trial on terrorism and sabotage charges.

A report published in Dawn quoted an unnamed official as saying that Pakistan has sought repeated access to 13 Indian officials to ascertain information in the Jadhav case but India has remained uncooperative. He said Mr. Jadhav had multiple cases against him in which he had been indicted on terror and sabotage related charges and those cases are progressing. He did not say if a new trial will be held by a military tribunal or civilian anti-terrorism court.

Mr. Jadhav was arrested from the Balochistan province in 2016. He was awarded death penalty by a military tribunal last year and his appeal is pending with military chief General Javed Qamar Bajwa. Pakistan claims that Mr. Jadhav was a serving Indian Navy official recruited by R&AW to supervise terrorist activities in Balochistan and Karachi. India on the other hand claimed that Mr. Jadhav was a retired Naval official doing business in Iran's Cha Bahar port.

International Court of Justice had stayed Mr. Jadhav's execution after India approached ICJ claiming Pakistan has violated international conventions by denying consular access to Mr. Jadhav.

Mr. Jadhav was captured on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan. In April last year he was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) after being found guilty of espionage under Section 59 of Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section 3 of Official Secret Act of 1923.

Pakistan on December 25 arranged a meeting between Mr. Jadhav and his mother and wife. The meeting perceived as a goodwill gesture ended in a diplomatic spat between the two countries over the strict security checks of his mother and wife underwent.

Pakistani authorities believe that a conviction for Mr. Jadhav on terrorism will cement its case in ICJ.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

ICJ fixes time-limits for India, Pak. in Jadhav case

Kulbhushan Jadhav  

A 10-member bench of the ICJ on May 18 last year restrained Pakistan from executing Mr. Jadhav till adjudication of the case.

 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has fixed April 17 and July 17 as deadlines for India and Pakistan, respectively, for the filing of the written pleadings in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. A 10-member bench of the ICJ on May 18 last year restrained Pakistan from executing Mr. Jadhav till adjudication of the case.

According to a statement issued by the principal judicial organ of the UN, the ICJ authorised the submission of a reply by India and of a rejoinder by Pakistan in the Jadhav case.

“The Court fixed 17 April 2018 and 17 July 2018 as the respective time-limits for the filing of these written pleadings,” said the statement issued last week.

It said the ICJ made its decision taking into account the views of the parties and the circumstances of the case.

Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Mr. Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran.

India, however, maintains that Mr. Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

Consular access

Pakistan had rejected India’s plea for consular access to Mr. Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its “spy“.

In its counter-memorial submitted to the ICJ last month, Pakistan had said the provision of such an access under the Vienna Convention is only for legitimate visitors and not for spies.

However, Pakistan facilitated a meeting of Mr. Jadhav with his mother and wife in Islamabad on December 25.

In the pictures issued by Pakistan, Mr. Jadhav was seen sitting behind a glass screen while his mother and wife sat on the other side. They spoke through intercom.

Later, India accused Pakistan of disregarding cultural and religious sensibilities of Mr. Jadhav’s family members under the pretext of security by removing the mangal sutra, bangles and bindi of his mother and wife before they could meet him.

After the meeting, Pakistan issued a video message of Mr. Jadhav in which he is seen thanking the Pakistan government for arranging a meeting with his wife and mother.

Earlier this month, Pakistan again released another video of Mr. Jadhav in which he purportedly claimed that he has not been harmed in custody, prompting a strong reaction from India, which called it a “propagandistic exercise” by Islamabad that simply carried no credibility.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Jadhav’s family harassed: India

In this picture released by Pakistan Foreign Office, death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav speaks with his mother and wife through a glass screen at its building in Islamabad on December 25, 2017. Photo: Dr. Mohammad Faisal/Twitter  

Jadhav's wife was asked to remove her 'bindi', 'mangal sutra'; mother was not allowed to speak in their mother tongue during the meeting, alleges Ministry.

A day after the meeting of former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav with his mother and wife in Islamabad, India sharply criticised Pakistan for stage-managing what it called an exercise that “lacked credibility” and held in an “atmosphere of coercion.”

“We note with regret that the Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings,” said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, after Mr. Jadhav’s family held a series of meetings with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other government officials.

Listing all the government’s reasons for its unhappiness with the conduct of the meeting, Mr. Kumar said the women were intimidated, separated from Indian officials, harassed by the Pakistani media and even made to change attire, remove their mangal sutras (nuptial necklaces), bangles and shoes “under the guise of security precautions.”

Warning against any 'mischievous intent'

Mr. Kumar was particularly critical of the fact that Pakistani officials had refused to return the shoes worn by Mrs. Jadhav and warned against any “mischievous intent” in this regard.

Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said the accusations were “baseless allegations and twists.”

“If Indian concerns were serious, the guests or the Indian Deputy High Commissioner should have raised them during the visit, with the media, which was readily available, but at a safe distance, as requested by India,” MoFA spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in a statement released on Tuesday night.

On Monday, the Pakistan government facilitated the meeting between Mr. Jadhav and his mother Avantika and wife Chetana at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, the first such meeting since the announcement of Mr. Jadhav's arrest in March 2016 on charges of terrorism. Later, he was convicted in a military court and sentenced to death, and his appeal for clemency is now under process.

India has officially requested a family meeting several times. Although the Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh was present at the interaction at the MoFA, both Pakistan and India made it clear this did not constitute "consular access" for which a case is being fought at the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

Questions about his health

According to the MEA, Mr. Jadhav's mother was also "prevented" from speaking in her mother tongue Marathi with her son and interrupted repeatedly, while they were separated by a glass partition throughout the meeting. The MEA said the government was worried about Mr. Jadhav's medical condition.

"From the feedback we have received of the meeting, it appears that Shri Jadhav was under considerable stress, speaking in an atmosphere of coercion. Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan. His appearance also raises questions of his health and wellbeing, " the MEA spokesperson said.

The Jadhav family returned to India from Islamabad on Tuesday and met Ms. Swaraj at her residence, along with other officials, including Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Mr. J.P. Singh, who had accompanied them. They were reportedly debriefed by other MEA officials later.

The Pakistan government has claimed that facilitating the meeting of Mr. Jadhav and his family for "humanitarian reasons" was proof that it had "honoured its commitments". At a press conference, the MoFA spokesperson had also played a taped statement by Mr. Jadhav thanking the government for the meeting.

Mr. Jadhav's family has not made any public comment yet.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Friends rally support for Kulbhushan Jadhav

With online campaigns, candlelight marches and petitions, they hope to bring him back from Pakistan

Five friends of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row for alleged espionage in Pakistan, organised a motorbike rally here in his support on the eve of the visit of his mother and wife to meet him in Islamabad.

Nearly 100 riders took part in Sunday’s rally, holding “Justice for Kulbhushan” placards. The two-wheelers covered the entire N.M. Joshi Marg.

“We conducted the bike rally to express solidarity with Jadhav’s mother and wife. All his friends want to show their support to him and his entire family during this predicament so that they don’t feel that they are alone in this fight,” said Tulsidas Pawar, Mr. Jadhav’s childhood friend and resident of Prithvi Nandan Society at Lower Parel, where the former naval officer grew up.

“We have been friends since childhood and live in the same locality ever since we were in school. He was born here and till 2000, he used to live on the first floor of the police quarters right opposite the Prithvi Nandan Society,” he said.

Mr. Pawar said Mr. Jadhav was a student of Ruia College. When he was in Class XI, he filled up the form for entry to the National Defence Academy and after he was selected, his family and friends dropped him at the Pune institution.

Watch: Kulbhushan Jadhav thanks Pakistan govt for allowing him to meet his family
 

Shocked neighbourhood

“During the holidays, he used to visit us. Later, after his marriage in 2000, his family shifted to Powai, Hiranandani, and the visits became less frequent. On March 3, 2017, as we got to know that he had been captured from Balochistan and was accused of espionage, we were shocked. We all did not even know when he retired from his position and how he got arrested,” Mr. Pawar said.

‘He was on business trip’

Mr. Pawar said that as students, they always spoke about starting a business of their own after retirement.

They later found out that he had gone for the purpose of business and was arrested in Iran. Iran was an important point of business for him and he had been dealing in scrap. Even after he was arrested, the Pakistan government did not have any evidence against him, he said.

After eight days, they got the news that he would be sentenced to death.

The family and his friends are fighting to get him back.

Arvind Singh, an engineer, another childhood friend of Mr. Jadhav, said: “In our [housing] society, he used to live right opposite our building at the police quarters. We used to play together whenever we had the chance to. We got to know through the media on March 3, 2017 and at that time we decided to spread the message through various initiatives such as banners that our friend is innocent and could never do anything like this. After that we started online and offline campaigns. They comprised candle marches, and signing of petitions.”

Buoyed by ICJ verdict

“We recently conducted a bike rally because there were still people in this area who did not know much about the arrest. Now the entire area knows about what we are fighting for. We are really grateful for the way the International Court of Justice has intervened in this matter and given a verdict in our favour. Now our hopes have gone up,” Mr. Singh said.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Kulbhushan Jadhav meets his mother, wife; meeting a humanitarian gesture, says Pakistan

In this photo released by Pakistan Foreign Ministry, Kulbhushan Jadhav meets his mother and wife. Photo: Dr. Mohammad Faisal/Twitter  

Pakistan Minister claims to have granted India consular access to death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav, but Foreign Ministry denies it.

The wife and the mother of alleged Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav met him for 40 minutes at the Foreign Office in Islamabad on Monday, for 40 minutes while Deputy Indian High Commissioner and Pakistani officials listened in on the conversation outside.

Mr. Jadhav and the family members spoke in a highly secured room, from either side of a glass partition.

Pakistani officials said the presence of Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh could not be taken as provision of consular access. Mr. Singh, who accompanied the visitors, was not allowed to speak or listen.

Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal told a media briefing after the meeting that the family was allowed to meet Mr. Jadhav as a humanitarian gesture.

Watch: Kulbhushan Jadhav thanks Pakistan govt for allowing him to meet his family
 

At the briefing, Dr. Faisal repeated the charges against Mr. Jadhav, facing a death sentence for alleged espionage and sabotage. India has denied the charges, saying Mr. Jadhav was a former Navy officer, pursuing business interests in Tehran from where he was abducted by Pakistani officials.

Dr. Faisal said Commander Jadhav, whom he described as an ‘Indian spy, a terrorist and a saboteur’, was a serving Indian naval officer sentenced to death for his involvement in ‘espionage, terrorism and subversive activities’ against Pakistan.

TV footage showed Mr. Jadhav’s mother Avanti and wife Chetankul entering the Foreign Affairs Ministry building’s Agha Shahi Block, accompanied by Mr. J.P. Singh and a Pakistani woman official. After they went in, the door shut behind them. Pakistan Foreign Office later released pictures of Mr. Jadhav talking to his wife and mother from behind a glass screen. The communication between them was through an intercom device.

The meeting started at around 1.35 pm local time (2.05 p.m. IST) and lasted about 40 minutes, after which Mr. Jadhav’s wife and mother were driven away in a white SUV.

The two women had arrived in Islamabad earlier in the day via Dubai on a commercial flight, and spent about 30 minutes at the Indian High Commission before being driven to the Foreign Office. Mr. Jadhav's family had a brief stop at the mission again before they headed to the airport to catch a flight to India.

They left Pakistan for Muscat by an Oman Airlines flight at 1944 hours (local time), said officials at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport here.

Dr. Faisal said the meeting was positive and the two sides talked thoroughly. “It is not the last meeting. It should be categorically registered,” he added.

A video of Mr. Jadhav played during the press conference was recorded before his meeting with his family, officials said. “I requested a meeting with my wife and mother and I am thankful to the Government of Pakistan for this gesture,” Mr. Jadhav said in the brief video message.

Meanwhile, Dr. Faizal told the briefing that Mr. Jadhav “He conducted these activities especially in Balochistan and Sindh Provinces. He confessed about his condemnable actions before a Judicial Magistrate and court. He also stated that he was tasked by the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Indian intelligence agency, to plan, coordinate and organise espionage, terrorism and sabotage aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan. He made every effort to impede the efforts of the Law Enforcement Agencies and was eventually caught red-handed.”

Before the meeting, a security check of the family was conducted.

All the information about the meeting emerged through Pakistani Foreign Ministry tweets and images.

“The mother and wife of Commander Jadhav sitting comfortably in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan. We honour our commitments,” spokesman Faisal earlier tweeted along with a picture of the visitors. From Pakistan’s side, Foreign Office Director for India, Dr. Fareha Bugti, was present at the meeting.

The wife and mother greeted media persons with a namaste after arriving at the Ministry but did not respond to their questions. They also did not talk to the reporters while leaving the building, although journalists kept shouting questions.

“This meeting was not consular access as we had told India that its diplomat would see the meeting but was not allowed to speak or participate in it,” Dr. Faisal said.

Mr. Singh, who accompanied the visitors, was not allowed to speak or listen and he knew it, Dr. Faisal added.

“All decisions on consular access will be taken on the basis of law and interests of Pakistan,” he said in response to a question about granting consular access.

Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Mr. Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.

Dr. Faisal said the meeting was positive and the two sides talked thoroughly. “It is not the last meeting. It should be categorically registered,” he added.

The video of Mr. Jadhav played during the press conference was recorded before his meeting with his family, officials said.

“I requested a meeting with my wife and mother and I am thankful to the Government of Pakistan for this gesture,” Mr. Jadhav said in the brief video message.

Mr. Jadhav was at the Ministry before his family arrived. It was not known where he had been kept before being transported to the Foreign Ministry.

TV footage showed a convoy of around seven vehicles escorting Jadhav’s family in the city.

Police and paramilitary security forces, including sharpshooters, were deployed at the ministry to deal with any untoward security situation, officials said.

Pakistan on December 20 issued visa to Jadhav’s wife and mother to visit Islamabad to meet him.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the ICJ in May. It is expected to hold another hearing in March or April.

Earlier today, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif told a Pakistani media channel that Pakistan has granted India consular access to Jadhav since an Indian diplomat will be accompanying the prisoner’s wife and mother.

In India, officials downplayed the comments, maintaining that the Indian diplomat was only accompanying Jadhav’s family and it cannot be construed as “consular access”.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Wife and mother to meet Kulbhushan Jadhav on Monday

Kulbhushan Jadhav. File photo  

The wife and the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a prisoner on death row for alleged espionage, will meet him here on Monday, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.

They will arrive here by a commercial flight and leave the same day after the meeting, it said. India’s Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh will accompany them to the meeting.

“India informs that the mother and wife of Commander Jadhav will arrive by a commercial flight on 25 Dec and leave the same day. Indian DHC [Deputy High Commissioner] in Islamabad will be the accompanying diplomat,” Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted on Saturday night. Earlier, media reports said Pakistan had asked India to convey the plan of Jadhav’s family at the earliest. Separately, Mr. Faisal said the meeting would take place at the Ministry and its photo and video footage would be released. They were allowed the meeting in light of “Islamic traditions and on humanitarian grounds,” he said.

On December 20, Pakistan gave visas to Jadhav’s wife and mother.

Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a military court in April on the charges of espionage and terrorism. Thereafter, India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May. The ICJ halted the execution, pending its verdict.

Pakistan denied India consular access to Jadhav saying it was not applicable in the cases of espionage. It said Jadhav was not an ordinary person as he entered the country for spying and sabotage. Pakistan says its security forces arrested Jadhav, alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he entered the country from Iran. India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Pakistan issues visas to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother

Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death in April this year under charges of espionage and terrorism.  

They will be allowed to meet him, accompanied by an Indian embassy official, on December 25

The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on Wednesday issued visas to the wife and mother of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to allow them to meet him on December 25, Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal tweeted.

Earlier this month, Pakistan said that it would allow them to meet him on humanitarian grounds. Islamabad also allowed them to be accompanied by an Indian embassy official as requested by New Delhi.

On November 10, Pakistan had offered to arrange a meeting between Mr. Jadhav and his wife. A Note Verbale to this effect was sent to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. But India insisted that Mr. Jadhav's mother be included as well, with an Indian High Commission official present during the meeting. Pakistan accepted both demands.

 

Mr. Jadhav, who India claims was a former Navy official, was arrested by Pakistan law enforcement agencies on March 3, 2016 after he allegedly crossed over into Pakistan from Iran.

His video confession was released by Pakistani military last year in which he stated that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage, terrorist and sabotage activities aimed at destabilising and waging war against Pakistan. India rejected the allegations that Mr. Jadhav had any connection with RAW.

Mr. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court, and his clemency appeal is pending with the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for the past four months. Pakistani officials said that there are still two forums of appeal left for Mr. Jadhav even if the Army Chief refuses his mercy appeal.

India went to the International Court of Justice against the conviction, and secured a stay on May 18. Pakistan earlier this week filed a counter-memorial in the ICJ.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Pakistan files counter in ICJ

Legal tangle: No date has been fixed for the case to resume in the International Court of Justice.   | Photo Credit: JERRY LAMPEN

Rejects India’s stance that it violated norms by rejecting consular access to Jadhav

Pakistan on Wednesday filed a counter-memorial before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against India’s plea to prevent execution of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a military court in April.

India had won a stay from the ICJ on Jadhav’s execution on May 18 following Pakistan’s refusal to allow consular access to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad despite repeated requests.

No date has been fixed for the case to resume in the ICJ. Pakistani officials associated with the case said it would take at least weeks, if not months, before the ICJ takes up the Kulbhushan case.

Access granted to kin

Last week, Islamabad said it would allow Mr. Jadhav’s wife and mother to meet him on December 25. The Pakistani authorities also allowed the presence of an Indian High Commission official at the meeting as requested by New Delhi during the meeting.

Pakistani officials believe that by allowing a meeting with the family and an Indian High Commission official, India will lose its main claim for approaching the ICJ. In its counter-memorial Pakistan rejected India’s stance that it had violated international norms by rejecting consular access to the Indian High Commission.

Allegations denied

The counter-memorial stated that Jadhav, 46, is a RAW operative involved in espionage and subversive activities and supporting terrorists to conduct attacks in the restive Balochistan province. India has denied the allegations.

Pakistan has referred to the bilateral consular access agreement of 2008, which says that in case of arrest, detention, or sentence made on political or security grounds, each side may examine the case on the merits. The agreement was signed in Islamabad by former High Commissioner of Pakistan to India Shahid Malik and his Indian counterpart, Satyabrata Pal, on May 21, 2008.

Jadhav, who India claimed was a former naval official, was apprehended by Pakistani law enforcement agencies on March 3, 2016 after he allegedly crossed over into Pakistan from Iran.

His video confession was released by Pakistan in which he stated that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage, terrorist and sabotage activities aimed at destabilising and waging war against Pakistan.

Remaining options

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court while the Army Chief upheld his conviction. His clemency appeal has been pending before the Army Chief for four months. Pakistani officials said that there were still two forums of appeal left for Jadhav even if the Army Chief refuses his mercy appeal.

The officials added that Jadhav had three appeals left before his sentence is executed and his execution is not apparent any time soon.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Pakistan directs its High Commission in Delhi to issue visas to Jadhav’s family

People hold posters of former officer Kulbhushan Jadhav and light fire crackers as they celebrate the International Court of Justice order on Jadhav, in Ahmadabad on May 18, 2017.   | Photo Credit: AP

The directive was issued by the Foreign Ministry after it decided last week to allow Jadhav’s family to meet him on December 25 in Islamabad.

Pakistan on Thursday directed its High Commission in New Delhi to issue visas to the wife and mother of Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav, official sources said.

The directive was issued by the Foreign Ministry after it decided last week to allow Jadhav’s family to meet him in Islamabad on December 25.

Adequate security measures would be taken for complete safety of Jadhav’s family and an Indian High Commission official would be allowed to accompany them, the sources said.

 

Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April and India moved the ICJ in May against the order. The ICJ halted his execution on India’s appeal pending the final verdict by it.

Pakistan's claim

Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel from restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.

Pakistan on Wednesday rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its “spy”.

Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Pakistan allows Jadhav's wife, mother to meet him on Dec. 25

Kulbhushan Jadhav. PTI  

Indian official also permitted to travel with them as requested by New Delhi

Pakistan on Friday said that it will allow the wife and mother of alleged Indian spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav, to meet him on humanitarian grounds on December 25.

It allowed them to be accompanied by an Indian embassy official as requested by New Delhi.

Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal told a media briefing that Islamabad had earlier offered to allow Mr. Jadhav’s wife to meet him last month.

But New Delhi requested that his mother and an Indian embassy official also be permitted to travel with her, and Pakistan conceded both pleas. Mr. Jadhav, who India claims was a former Navy official, was apprehended by Pakistan law enforcement agencies on March 3, 2016, after he allegedly crossed over. Mr. Jadhav, who was produced before the media in Pakistan in March 2016, was accused of sabotage and terrorism against the coastal cities of Pakistan.

After a swift and controversial trial by a Pakistani military tribunal, he was awarded the death sentence on April 10.

His clemency appeal is pending with Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for the past four months. Pakistani officials said there were still two forums of appeal left even if the Army chief rejects his mercy plea.

India went to the International Court of Justice against the conviction, and secured a stay on May 18.

“We received the response from the Pakistani government to the request made by India on November 13, 2017 to allow both mother and wife of Mr. Jadhav to meet him,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in New Delhi.

Officials described the Pakistani move which comes a week before the next hearing of the case at The Hague’s International Court of Justice, as “positive and humanitarian.”

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took to social media to announce the development.

She said, “Government of Pakistan has conveyed that they will give visa to the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav. Earlier Pakistan had given visa only to the wife. On this, we asked Pakistan to give visa to the mother as well. We also raised concern about their safety and security in Pakistan.”

Ms. Swaraj said that she conveyed the Pakistani decision to Mrs. Avantika Jadhav, the mother.

Consular access

Officials said that they are not considering the “purely humanitarian” gesture as equivalent to granting of consular access that India has been demanding from the moment Mr. Jadhav was produced before the Pakistani media.

(With inputs from Kallol Bhattacherjee in New Delhi)

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Can Pak. ensure safety of Jadhav kin, asks India

A file picture of Kulbhushan Jadhav.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Islamabad offered to allow wife to visit him

The former Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife will travel to Islamabad if Pakistan gives sovereign guarantees for their safety during the visit, India said on Thursday.

Explaining the contents of a letter regarding the visit of Mr. Jadhav’s family members, the Ministry of External Affairs said India has also said an official of the Indian High Commission should be allowed to accompany them.

Guarantees sought

“In our response, we have conveyed that the wife of Mr. Jadhav would like to travel along with her mother-in-law for the meeting. We have also sought sovereign guarantees from the Government of Pakistan to ensure the safety, security and wellbeing of the wife and mother of Mr. Jadhav and that they shall not be questioned, harassed or interrogated during their visit and stay in Pakistan. We have further asked that a diplomat of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad shall be allowed to accompany them at all times, including during the meeting,” said spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

The Hindu had earlier reported about India’s response to the humanitarian gesture of the Pakistan government to allow the wife to meet Mr. Jadhav, who has been in the custody of the Pakistan military.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that Pakistan is at present evaluating the Indian proposal.

Pakistan’s decision came months after India urged it to allow Mr. Jadhav’s mother to meet him.

The gesture is a significant point in the case which began in March 2016 when Pakistan arrested the former Navy officer and presented him to the world at a dramatic press conference.

 

The Ministry of External Affairs had applied more than a dozen times for consular access to Mr. Jadhav but Islamabad has not obliged it. The Ministry said on Thursday that India will not give up its campaign to free Mr. Jadhav.

“Let me underline that such a meeting (between Mr. Jadhav and his family members) offer does not absolve Pakistan of the violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and Human Rights and not following the due process in treating Mr. Jadhav who remains incarcerated in Pakistan and faces death sentence through a farcical process and on concocted charges,” said the spokesperson. “We are determined to pursue all measures with full vigour so as to secure the final release of an innocent Indian,” he added.

Mr. Jadhav has the option of putting in mercy petitions to the highest offices of the Pakistani state but the government of Islamabad is already under criticism for allegedly being soft on the Indian captive who in his ‘video-taped confession’ stated that his role was to ensure sabotage and violence in Balochistan province.

In another Balochistan-related issue, the MEA spokesperson said the government is not aware of any request for application that the exiled Baloch leader Brahumdagh Bugti was supposed to file. Mr. Bugti announced on social media on Wednesday that Switzerland had rejected his application for asylum after seven years of consideration even as his followers took to the social media urging India to grant him asylum.

The Hindu had reported in September 2016 that Mr. Bugti had initiated the process of seeking asylum in India in order to seek greater freedom for his activism to ‘free’ Balochistan.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Jadhav letter was sent to Pakistan, says India

In this March 29, 2016 photo, journalists look at an image of Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, during a press conference by Pakistan's army spokesman in Islamabad.   | Photo Credit: AP

Contents not disclosed; move comes ahead of the next ICJ hearing

India has responded to Pakistan’s proposal allowing former Indian naval official Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his wife on humanitarian grounds, a senior MEA official confirmed on Saturday.

The confirmation of the Indian response came hours after Pakistan announced the receipt of the Indian letter, even as both sides prepared for the next date of the case in December at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Response to offer

“We can confirm that the letter carrying our response to the Pakistani offer on the humanitarian gesture to Kulbhushan Jadhav has been sent. It is a sensitive matter for the family and the two countries,” said the official, explaining that India has taken note of the fact that Pakistan has kept the content of the letter confidential and so far has not revealed it to the media on the Pakistani side.

Spokesperson for Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Faisal said at his weekly news briefing that India had responded to the Pakistani humanitarian proposal on allowing Mr. Jadhav’s wife to meet him.

He also said Islamabad was “considering” India’s request to let Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother meet him, apart from his wife.

The proposal came in the backdrop of humanitarian moves regarding prisoners in each other’s custody that were undertaken recently.

The Pakistani offer came months after MEA had asked for a meeting between Mr. Jadhav and his mother in Pakistan. Though diplomats on both sides are tight-lipped about the way ahead, unconfirmed reports have indicated that both sides have begun to discuss the modalities and venue of the meeting. Reports also suggest that India might want Mr. Jadhav’s mother also to travel along with his wife.

The timing of the humanitarian gesture is significant as it comes weeks before the International Court of Justice takes up the case once again. As per the decision of the court, the case will come up on December 13, which was the deadline set for Pakistan to file the counter-Memorial.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Pakistan’s Jadhav dilemma

A sketch of Kulbhushan Yadav by Gurukul students of art at Lalbaugh, on April 15, 2017 in Mumbai as a mark of protest against Pakistan’s death sentence on him.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

As officials of the Foreign Office, the Law Ministry, the Interior Ministry and the military met in the office of Attorney-General Ashtar Ausaf last month, they had two proposals on their hands. One was to allow consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian national sentenced to death on spying charges, and the other was to grant permission to Jadhav’s wife for a meeting with him.

After much deliberation, it was decided that as a goodwill gesture, Jadhav’s wife will be allowed to meet him. The diplomatic note in this regard was sent to the Indian High Commission on November 10.

The proposal to allow consular access was hotly debated, a government representative told The Hindu, requesting anonymity. “It was argued that if consular access is allowed, it will destroy India’s case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is based on the premise that Pakistan was not granting consular access,” he said. “But a military representative opposed it by saying that the matter is of national security and granting consular access to the Indian government will not be a wise decision.”

The ICJ ordered in May not to carry out Jadhav’s execution, pending a final decision.

Jadhav was arrested by Pakistani authorities in March last year. His video-taped confessional statement was released by the military in which Jadhav stated that he was working for the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing. He was subsequently tried for espionage and conspiracy against Pakistan in a military court and sentenced to death. India dismisses the charges and insists that Jadhav was a retired Navy officer.

Allah Nazar, chief of the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), was accused of working with Jadhav. Nazar is reportedly hiding in Afghanistan. His family was briefly detained on the Afghan frontier last month while attempting to cross the border. The BLF has claimed several attacks on security forces and civilians. In the latest, 15 people were killed in an attack in Turbat on November 15. Pakistan has also asked Iran to investigate how Jadhav operated out of its territories for a few years.

As Pakistan prepares its case for the ICJ, scheduled to begin in January, the execution of Jadhav seems unlikely in the near future. “Even if Army Chief General [Qamar Javed] Bajwa rejects Jadhav’s mercy petition, he can appeal in High Court. After that, he can also file a mercy plea with the President,” a government source said. Pakistan will submit its “counter-memorial” to the ICJ by mid-December. The Pakistani side is relying on its argument that the case is a matter of national security and should not be seen as a bilateral diplomatic issue.

Weak point

The Pakistani side fears that the trial of Jadhav by the military court remains one of the weak points in its case. Pakistan claims that Jadhav was a serving naval officer in contradiction to India’s stand that he had retired much earlier. “If India manages to prove in the ICJ that Jadhav was not a serving naval officer, then our case becomes weak. We will have to grant consular access to him,” an official associated with preparing the ‘counter-memorial’ said.

In Pakistan, Jadhav has also become a political issue. Opposition parties have accused the government of being soft on the case. The government dismisses such criticism. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif made a sensational claim in September during his visit to the U.S. that Afghanistan offered Pakistan to exchange Jadhav with the mastermind of the 2014 Army Public School attack in Peshawar in which 144 people, mostly children, were killed. However, he said Pakistan refused the offer.

(Mubashir Zaidi writes for The Hindu and is based in Karachi)

 

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Friends, family elated over Jadhav meeting wife

In hope: Childhood friends and neighbours of Kulbhushan Jadhav pray during the International Court of Justice verdict in the case in May.  

Pakistan government agrees to meeting between death row prisoner, wife on humanitarian grounds

Mumbai: The friends and family of childhood friend of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in a Pakistani prison, expressed happiness over that country’s decision to allow Mr. Jadhav to meet his wife, Chetna, in prison. “We, his friends and family, are happy. Our expectations have risen with this decision. We take it as a positive step and believe he is not being harmed,” Tulshidas Pawar said on Saturday, while demanding he be released at the earliest.

He added, “After his wife meets him, we will get a fair idea about his physical and mental condition. From the beginning, we have been saying that Kulbhushan is not involved in the kind of activities for which he has been convicted.” Mr. Pawar and Mr. Jadhav have been friends since their childhood days in Prithvi Nandan Society, Lower Parel. He, and other friends, had started a signature campaign for Mr. Jadhav’s release.

On Friday, Pakistani authorities said they would allow Mr. Jadhav to meet his wife, months after India’s request to Islamabad to grant a visa to the former Navy officer’s mother, Avantika, on humanitarian grounds. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in a statement, The Government of Pakistan has decided to arrange a meeting of Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav with his wife, in Pakistan, purely on humanitarian grounds. A Note Verbale to this effect has been sent to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad today.” Mr. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and terrorism. in May, the International Court of Justice had halted his execution on India’s appeal. On June 22, Mr. Jadhav had filed a mercy petition before Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Pakistan claims to have arrested him from Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered that country from Iran. However, India maintains that Mr. Jadhav was abducted in Iran, where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

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Pakistan offers a meeting of Commander Jadhav with his wife on humanitarian grounds

Kulbhushan Jadhav  

Kulbhushan Jhadav was sentenced to death by a military court while Army Chief upheld his conviction.

Pakistan on Friday offered India a meeting of Commander Jadhav with his wife on humanitarian grounds

"The Government of Pakistan has decided to arrange a meeting of Commander Kulbhushan Jhadav with his wife, in Pakistan, purely on humanitarian grounds. A Note Verbale to this effect has been sent to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, today'" a foreign office statement said.

Kulbushan Jhadav which India claimed was a its former Naval official was apprehended by Pakistan law enforcement agencies on March 3, 2016 after he allegedly crossed over into Pakistan.

His video confession was released by Pakistan in which he stated that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organize espionage, terrorist and sabotage activities aimed at destabilizing and waging war against Pakistan.

Kulbhushan Jhadav was sentenced to death by a military court while Army Chief upheld his conviction. His clemency appeal is pending before the army chief for the past four months. Pakistani officials said that there are still two forums of appeal left for Jhadav even if the army chief refuses his mercy appeal.

Pakistan has reportedly denied consular access to Jhadav.

India went to International Court of Justice against Jhadav conviction after which the sentence was stayed by the ICJ.

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Kulbhushan Jhadav case: Pakistan designates ad hoc judge at ICJ

File photo of retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A Foreign Office statement said the appointment of Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani had been communicated to the ICJ.

Pakistan on Wednesday designated a former Chief Justice to the International Court of Justice to be its Judge in the Kulbhushan Jadhav Case.

A Foreign Office statement said the appointment of Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani had been communicated to the ICJ.

His appointment was made after military, civil and legal officers over the weekend discussed the course of action. Pakistan has been refusing consular access to India despite repeated requests.

Indian Naval official Kulbhushan Jhadav was arrested by Pakistani authorities from Balochistan province last year. After a military trial, he had been sentenced to death. His appeal is pending before the Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa.

Justice Jillani served as Chief Justice of Pakistan from December 11, 2013 until July 5, 2014. The procedures of the ICJ allow a party to nominate a Judge Ad hoc if there is no Judge of the nationality in it.

Judge Bhandari from India sits as a Judge of the Court. A Judge Ad hoc is treated as having the same authority as any of the sitting Judges. The Court will now notify India the appointment.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan prepares to file plea in ICJ

Journalists look at an image of Kulbhushan Jadhav during a press conference in Islamabad on March 29, 2016.   | Photo Credit: AP

Pakistan has started the process to file its plea in response to India’s memorial (representation) submitted in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the death sentence of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Mr. Jadhav, a 46-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was captured in Balochistan in March 2016 by Pakistan security forces and tried in a military court which sentenced him to death for “espionage and subversive activities”.

The ICJ had asked Pakistan to submit its written response or memorial by December 13 before the court could start further proceedings.

According to Pakistan Foreign Office sources, Attorney-General Ashtar Ausaf Ali on October 6 presided over a meeting of law experts and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant departments to discuss the line of arguments in the ICJ. “We will forcefully defend our position which is based on the fact that Jadhav is a serving Indian spy tasked to carry out subversive activities in Pakistan,” the sources said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ali told the Dawn that they had decided to hold weekly meetings in order to review the situation and “to finalise Islamabad’s point of view and convert it into an appropriate rejoinder to India’s allegations”. He said they were in touch with relevant stakeholders, including Khawar Qureshi who had pleaded Pakistan’s case at the initial stage, to formalise a robust reply refuting all allegations levelled against Pakistan. The daily reported that the attorney-general’s office is also busy documenting the case and collecting instances of the “atrocities and human rights violations committed by India” in Jammu and Kashmir.

On October 5, the Pakistan Army said it is close to a decision on the mercy petition of Mr. Jadhav. “Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mercy petition has come to the Army Chief. There is a process, everything goes through a process but I can assure that it is near finalisation and we will give you news about this very soon,” Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said.

Mr. Jadhav’s death sentence was confirmed by Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa on April 10. He has filed an appeal with the Army Chief to seek clemency, which is still pending. After India approached the ICJ, a 10-member bench on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing Mr. Jadhav till adjudication of the case. Mr. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.

India has warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “premeditated murder” was carried out. In its application, India had also informed the ICJ that it learnt about the death sentence against Mr. Jadhav from a press release. India acknowledges that Mr. Jadhav had served with the Indian Navy but denies that he has any connection with the government. It also said that Mr. Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran.

India has also handed over to Pakistan an appeal by Mr. Jadhav’s mother, initiating a process to get his conviction overturned.

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India rubbishes Pakistan claim on swapping Kulbhushan Jadhav for jailed terrorist

File photo of retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The reaction comes after Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif suggested that he received a proposal to swap Mr. Jadhav with a terrorist, lodged in an Afghan jail.

India on September 29 cited Afghanistan NSA’s statement rejecting Pakistan’s claim that it had received a proposal to swap Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav for a terrorist, to assert that it was another addition to Islamabad’s “imaginary lies”.

The reaction came after Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif suggested that he received the proposal to swap Mr. Jadhav with the terrorist, lodged in an Afghan jail, during his meeting with an NSA. However, Mr. Asif did not identify the NSA or the terrorist who was to be swapped.

Contradicting Mr. Asif’s claim, the office of the Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Haneef Atmar issued a statement saying there was no mention or reference of India or an Indian citizen during his meeting with the Pakistani foreign minister on September 21 in New York.

Mr. Asif had told a gathering at the Asia Society in New York on September 26 that Pakistan received a proposal to swap Mr. Jadhav for a terrorist who carried out the horrific 2014 Peshawar school attack and is now jailed in Afghanistan.

Reacting strongly, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the statement by the office of the Afghan NSA suggested that the claim by Mr. Asif was one more addition to the long list of “imaginary lies” by Pakistani establishment. The statement by Mr. Atmar’s office said the two sides, during the meeting, had detailed discussions on variety of issues including bilateral cooperation.

“The two sides also discussed sanctuaries in Pakistan and exchange of the top five Taliban leaders detained in Pakistan. There was no mention or reference of India or an Indian citizen,” it said, adding Mr. Atmar was hopeful that the record of the meetings are reported accurately and facts are not “misconstrued”.

The MEA spokesperson also referred to Pakistan’s use of a “fake picture” in the United Nations General Assembly recently, adding the Pakistan Foreign Minister’s claim was another lie. “If you have gone through the press release (issued by Afghan NSA’s office), it seems this is one more addition to the long list of imaginary lies as stories which have been created by Pakistani establishment,” said Mr. Kumar.

Mr. Jadhav, a 46-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was in April 2017 sentenced to death by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial on charges of his alleged “involvement in espionage and sabotage activities” against Pakistan. In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench of the International Court of Justice restrained Pakistan from executing Mr. Jadhav.

The Pakistan Taliban had claimed responsibility for the gruesome Peshawar school attack in 2014 in which nearly 150 people, mostly school children, were killed.

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Proposal made to swap Kulbhushan Jadhav for terrorist: Pakistan Foreign Minister

In this March, 2016 picture, Pakistani journalists watch a video showing India’s Kulbhushan Jadhav, arrested on suspicion of spying, during a press conference in Islamabad.  

The terrorist is the one who carried out the 2014 Peshawar school attack that killed nearly 150 people, mostly school children, and is now jailed in Afghanistan, says Khwaja Muhammad Asif.

Pakistan received a proposal to swap Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav for a terrorist who carried out the horrific 2014 Peshawar school attack and is now jailed in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif has claimed.

Mr. Asif, however, did not specify the name of the terrorist and the National Security Advisor who made the proposal.

“The terrorist who killed children in APS [Army Public School] in Peshawar is in Afghan custody. The National Security Adviser [NSA] told me that we can exchange that terrorist with the terrorist you have, which is Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Mr. Asif said at the Asia Society in New York on Wednesday.

He discussed Pakistan’s vision for and approach towards regional peace and development during his conversion with author and journalist Steve Coll.

Mr. Asif said Pakistan had suffered grievously from conflict and instability in Afghanistan.

'Situation in Afghanistan getting worse'

“Unless this cycle is reversed, we would continue to bear the brunt. No country, therefore, has a larger stake in seeing peace and stability return to Afghanistan than Pakistan. Regrettably, the situation in Afghanistan is getting worse,” he said.

Mr. Jadhav, a 46-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial in April for his alleged “involvement in espionage and sabotage activities” against Pakistan.

Mr. Asif said there was no military solution to Afghanistan. Pakistan had done all it could to facilitate a political settlement.

“We have also done all that we could to make sure that the Pakistani soil is not used against any country,” he claimed.

“However, there are obviously clear limits to what we can do. We cannot take responsibility for Afghanistan’s peace and security and be asked to achieve what the combined strength of some of the most powerful and richest countries could not accomplish,” he said.

India has accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by repeatedly denying consular access to Mr. Jadhav.

In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench of the Inyernational Court of Justice (ICJ) restrained Pakistan from executing Mr. Jadhav.

Pakistan has said the Indian national would not be executed until he has exhausted his mercy appeals.

The Pakistan Taliban had claimed responsibility for the gruesome Peshawar school attack in 2014 in which nearly 150 people, mostly school children, were killed.

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Former AG, ex-Jordanian PM top contenders for Pak’s ICJ ad-hoc judge choice

Former foreign minister Zafarullah Khan (left), is the only Pakistani to have been appointed a judge of the ICJ in the country’s history.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

The Pakistan government has begun consultations over the nomination of an ad-hoc judge for the Kulbhushan Jadhav case being heard at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) with an ex-attorney general and a former Jordanian premier emerging as the top contenders, a media report said today.

India had moved the Hague-based ICJ against Jadhav’s death penalty handed down by a Pakistani military court. The ICJ had on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing the death sentence.

Pakistan government’s functionaries have started consultations for the nomination of an ad-hoc judge, The Express Tribune reported, citing sources.

During the tenure of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, former Supreme Court judge Khalilur Rehman Ramday was approached, but he declined the nomination, the report said.

Sources were quoted by the daily as saying that the Attorney General for Pakistan’s (AGP) office has recommended the names of senior lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan, and former Jordanian prime minister, Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh to the Prime Minister’s Office for the nomination of one name as an ad-hoc judge.

Khasawneh served as an ICJ judge for over a decade, while Khan, a former Attorney General who is seen as the favourite for the job, also has experience in international arbitration cases, having represented eight different countries in international courts.

The nomination of the ad-hoc judge will be finalised after getting inputs from the Foreign Office and the military establishment, the sources said, adding that earlier, government functionaries had also considered the name of former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani.

An official was quoted as saying that the name of the ad- hoc judge will be finalised next month, soon after the Indian side files its documents.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) representative Raheel Kamran Sheikh has called upon the government to seek Parliament’s approval on the appointment of the ad—hoc judge.

Only one person has previously been appointed as ICJ judge in Pakistan’s history - former foreign minister Zafarullah Khan, who was appointed in 1954 and later became the president of the court.

Yaqub Ali Khan and Sharifuddin Pirzada both served as ad-hoc judges, as did Zafarullah.

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Jadhav mother's visa application being studied: Pakistan Foreign Office

File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav   | Photo Credit: PTI

India has not got any information on change in visa and consular positions in Kulbhushan Jadhav case: MEA

Pakistan on Thursday said it was studying a visa application of the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet him, who was sentenced to death by a military court on the charges of espionage and terrorism. India had requested Pakistan to allow Avantika Jadhav to meet her son.

“Pakistan is considering the Indian request for the grant of visa to the mother of Kulbushan Yadav,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria was quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan.

However, the Ministry of External Affairs said India had not got any information on change in visa and consular positions in the Jadhav case.

Mr. Zakaria’s remarks came two days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she had written a “personal letter” to Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz asking for the approval of Ms. Avantika’s visa application so that she may travel to Pakistan. The Minister also said that Mr. Aziz did not even respond to her letter.

“I wrote a personal letter to Mr Sartaj Aziz for the grant of her visa to Pakistan. However, Mr Aziz has not shown the courtesy even to acknowledge my letter,” she had tweeted.

However, Mr.Zakaria said that asking for recommendations from Mr. Aziz to grant visas was against “diplomatic norms”, Dawn newspaper reported. He also accused New Delhi of imposing “conditions” for the approval of medical visas of Pakistani patients travelling to India.

Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran.

However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Pakistan has dismissed India’s consular access request to Jadhav more than 15 times. India has accused Pakistan of repeatedly violating the Vienna Convention by doing so.

India approached the International Court of Justice in May seeking provisional stay of Jadhav's execution, which was granted.

 

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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: India denied consular access again

Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death in April this year under charges of espionage and terrorism.  

Pakistan has turned down at least five such requests since Mr. Jadhav’s arrest.

Pakistan on Sunday again rejected India’s request for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer who was sentenced to death for espionage and terrorism by a Pakistani military court in April this year.

His mercy petition is pending with Pakistani Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. India denied the charges made out against Jadhav, and moved the International Court of Justice against the conviction and got a stay on the execution. Pakistan insists that the reprieve is temporary.

Pakistan has turned down at least five Indian requests for consular access to Jadhav since his arrest in Balochistan province last year. India’s External Affairs Ministry on Saturday again requested for consular access to Jadhav when both countries exchanged lists of prisoners under a 2008 agreement.

In response to yet another Indian request, Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakariya said India’s attempt to equate the Jadhav case with those of civilian prisoners and fishermen was a travesty of logic. “Jadhav is a serving Indian naval officer and sent to Pakistan by the RAW for espionage, terrorism and subversive activities that resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and damage to property,” he said in a statement in Islamabad.

‘Deliberate delay’

He said Pakistan ensured effective implementation of the consular access agreement with India. But he blamed India for deliberately delaying release of civilian Pakistani prisoners

“Five Indian prisoners who completed their sentences were repatriated on June 22. In contrast, 20 Pakistani civilian prisoners who have completed their sentences still await their repatriation, while consular access to 107 Pakistani fishermen and 85 Pakistani civilians is till now pending,” the Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman said.

The spokesman also blamed India for delaying the release of juvenile Pakistani prisoners Babar Ali and Ali Raza for almost a year despite their release by Indian courts. He said Pakistan implemented the 2008 agreement in letter and in spirit and expected India to follow suit.

‘Impossible’ conditions

He also alleged that India set “impossible” conditions for medical visas for Pakistani patients.

“Under the directives of the Prime Minister, arrangements are being made for treatment and operations to be carried out in Pakistan.”

 

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Full text of Kulbhushan Jadhav's alleged second confession

Following is the full text and video of Kulbhushan Jadhav's alleged second confession as released by Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor  on June 22, 2017. The statement and  video were released by the Pakistan military after they said that Mr. Jadhav had filed for a mercy petition before Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

 

I am Commander Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav. Number 41558 Zulu of the Indian Navy

I am a commissioned officer in the Indian Navy. And my alias name was l-lussain Mubarak Patel. And I was basically; I'd visited Karachi on 2 occasions in 2005 and 2006 for basic intelligence gathering on Naval installations and subsequent detail. Basically gathering information on the landing sites around Karachi and various naval vessels or whatever I could gather about the navy.

The RAW officials had started sniffing that the Modi government will be in power by 2014. So I was inducted and my services were handed over to Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). And the aim was to see that all the activities around the Mekran Coast and Karachi and Balochistan Interior. Turbat and Quetta were to be organized and nicely coordinated.

Subsequently, me along with Anil Kumar had a meeting with Alok Joshi. Where in the plans and the finalization of the activities along the Mekran Coast and Karachi were finalized. I was stationed in Chahbahar, The Iranian Port City under a fictitious name “Hussein Mubarak Patel" and I was running a business there “Kaminda Trading company". It was a discreet non embassy based operation exclusively meant to conduct meetings with Baloch insurgents and terrorists. The aim of these meetings was always to see that the Aims and the Targets of RAW to conduct the various terrorist activities within Balochistan are conveyed properly to the insurgents and any kinds of requirements of them are conveyed back to the RAW officials.

My purpose of this time visit to Pakistan was to establish and meet the basic leadership of Baloch sub nationals, the BLA or the BRA and establish and lnfiltrate around 30 to 40 RAW operatives along the Mekran Coast for Operations along with Baloch sub nationals and miscreants or Terrorists.

The aim was to have RAW operatives on field so that they could facilitate and help the Baloch sub nationals in carrying out precision targets to be carried out. Precision, I would say sort of a military sort of a connection to the entire Operation. Balochistan doesn’t have a movement on the sea, so the aim was to raise within the Baloch sub nationals a sea front, so that the activities could be properly coordinated from the sea side and subsequently taken on further inwards. may be Quetta or Turbat or maybe interiors of various places.

The subsequent activities which were then handed over by RAW when I subsequently started working for Research and analysis wing, the main aim was focused to Balochistan and the Karachi region. The idea was to see to it that the sub nationals with in this region were facilitated and supported financially and with arms and Ammunition weapons and some kind of maybe man and material movement also across the coast.

Me being a naval officer I was given the task of seeing that how they could be landed across-the Mekran coast, between Gwadar, Jewani or whichever suitable points were there across this belt. And the main ideology beyond this was that the economic and the various activities which go along the OPEC region between Gwadar and China had to be distorted and disrupted and some destabilized so that the aim was to just basically raise the level of insurgency within Balochistan and the Karachi region.

Research and Analysis Wing through Mr Anil Kumar has been abetting and financing and sponsoring a lot of activities within Balochistan and Sindh. The entire Hundi and Hawala operations are undertaken from Delhi and Mumbai via Dubai into Pakistan and during one such important transaction was the 40,000 dollars which was transferred to Baloch sub Nationals via Dubai. Also the finances which are coming into Balochistan and Sindh for various anti National activities are coming through consulates in Jalalabad and Kandhar and the Consulate in Zahidan. These are very important consulates which are used by Research and Analysis Wing to transfer dollars into the Balochistan movement.

And one such instance was where l was directly involved and l was observing the transaction was when 40,000 Dollars were recently transferred from India via Dubai to one such Baloch National operative within Pakistan. Research and Analysis Wing and Mr Anil Kumar on behalf of RAW had been sponsoring regularly the various terrorist activities within Pakistan. Especially Hazara Muslims. Shia Muslims who move around on pilgrimage between Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan were basically to be targeted and killed. They were already being done. it was being done but the level had to be raised to the very high level so that the movement completely stops.

Then the targets on various workers of FWO who were conducting construction of various roads within Balochistan and the third major activity was the IED attacks which were being carried out by the Baloch sub nationals within Quetta, Turbat or various other cities of Balochistan.They were being directly sponsored by RAW.

Mr Anil Kumar has been sponsoring sectarian violence across Sindh and Balochistan and also sponsoring various assassinations across this same region so that instability or some kind of fear is set into the mindsets of the people of Pakistan. and in one such l process SSP Chaudhary was assassinated. This was a direct mention by Mr Anil Kumar to me.

The various financing which subsequently happened for the TTP and various other Afghan anti Pakistani terrorist groups led to the attack by “FTP on one of the Mehran Naval Bases in which a lot of damage was cost to the Pakistani Navy. Other sort of radar installation attack, the Sui pipeline gas attack, then attacks on civilian bus Stations where some I suppose Pakistani Nationals were being targeted by Sub Nationals and murdered and massacred so that a sort of disruption in the OPEC is done that was being funded and directly supported by Mr Anil Kumar. He wanted it to be raised to the next level so that complete disruption and complete stoppage of the Economic corridor between Gwadar and China is achieved.

One of the operations which was being planned by RAW officials along with Baloch insurgents was a military style attack on Zahidan Pakistani consulate. The aim was to either attack it with a grenade or some kind of RPG or lED attack or then try to harm the consulate General or some kind of vicious attack on the Pakistani consulate in Zahidan. It was being militarily planned. the RAW officials were involved in Iran and the Baloch Sub Nationals who were supposed to carry out the attack or facilitate the entire process were being involved and l was well aware of the plan which was being conducted and how it was being planned.

RAW was sponsoring the setting up of the modern website, a new website which was being already run through Nepal which the Balochistan movement was carrying on. on the Cyber world and the creation of the website, the previous maintenance of the already existing website was being handled by the Research and Analysis wing from Nepal, Kathmandu which was luring people from within Pakistan for various activities to be carried out in the future.

This time while crossing over into Pakistan I travelled all the way from Chahbahar in a private Taxi along with Rakesh to the Iranian Pakistan border near Sarawan. From wherein I crossed into Pakistan along with Baloch Sub Nationals and after about an hour or so I was apprehended by the Pakistani authorities in Pakistan.

Basically the movement into Pakistan for me was, I was on a visa and official visa in Iran and l was moving with my passports so I carried my passports with till the border almost so that if Iranian authorities or Iranian people who are about to check me or I am stopped or checked I should have a legitimate reason for movement with in Iran and my subsequent movement into Pakistan and then backwards. While I was not intending to having being caught so on my movement backwards again I would have had a legitimate reason to go about, With that passport with the legitimate visa of Iran.

During my judicial proceedings which were held under the field General court martial, l was accorded a defense council by the officials here which were conducting the entire proceedings.

Today I genuinely after the time having spent in Pakistan I feel very ashamed and l genuinely seek pardon of the acts and sins and crimes I have committed here against the Nation and the people of Pakistan.

 

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Kulbhushan Jadhav files mercy petition before Pakistani military chief

A differently-abled person participates in a signature campaign against the death sentence to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistani military court, in Nagpur.   | Photo Credit: S. Sudarshan

Kulbhushan Jadhav had earlier appealed to the Military Appellate Court which was rejected

The Pakistani military announced on Thursday that former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav had filed a mercy petition with Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Mr. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court in April for espionage and terrorism. The International Court of Justice in May halted the execution on India’s appeal.

In a statement by the Inter Services Public Relations, military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said Mr. Jadhav had filed the mercy plea with a confessional statement that he was involved in subversive activities in Balochistan.

Mr. Jadhav was said to have been arrested last year from Balochistan. “Today, I genuinely feel, after the time spent in Pakistan, very ashamed and seek pardon of the acts and sins and crimes I have committed here against the nation and people of Pakistan,” he was quoted as saying.

Mr. Jadhav’s second ‘confessional’ video was posted on the Facebook page of the military’s public relations wing, ISPR.

India lashed out at Pakistan for the “lack of transparency” in Mr. Jadhav’s trial and mercy petition process, and indicated that Pakistan’s release of the video was an “attempt to introduce prejudice” in the ongoing International Court of Justice appeal.

“India is determined to pursue the matter in ICJ and is confident that justice will be done without being affected by these unwarranted and misleading steps taken by Pakistan,” official spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.

Here is the video of Mr. Jadhav's alleged confession released by the Pakistan military on Thursday

Here is the full text of the alleged confession as released by the Pakistan military

(With inputs from Suhasini Haidar)

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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: ICJ asks India to make submission by September 13

Friends of Kulbhushan Jadhav hold a photograph of them with Mr. Jadhav in Mumbai on May 18, 2017.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Pakistan has been given time till December 13.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague has asked India to make its submission in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case by September 13, 2017.

Similarly, Pakistan has been asked by the court to complete its submission by December 13, 2017, the Ministry of External Affairs said on June 16.

In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench of the ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, who was awarded death sentence by a Pakistan army court for his alleged “involvement in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan”.

India moved the ICJ against the death sentence on May 8, describing the charges against Jadhav as “concocted” and his trial as “farcical”.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan Attorney-General to lead team to ICJ on June 8

Kulbhushan Jadhav  

Agents from India and Pakistan to meet on June 8 at The Hague to discuss the future proceedings

Pakistan’s Attorney-General Ashtar Ausaf Ali will lead a team to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague on June 8 for a meeting of “agents” from India and Pakistan with the court’s president to discuss the future proceedings in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

The decision to send the Attorney-General was taken at a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security on Tuesday to discuss Pakistan’s strategy in the case, Dawn reported. National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq chaired the meeting.

During the meeting of “agents”, the dates for subsequent hearings and submission of documents related to the case India has brought against Pakistan over the death sentence given to Indian national Jadhav following a “secret” trial will be discussed, the report said.

Pakistan is also likely to indicate its intention to nominate an ad-hoc judge for the case.

The ICJ statutes provide for a state party to a case, which does not have a judge of its nationality on the bench, to choose a person to sit as an ad-hoc judge in that case.

The parliamentary committee took up the issue after India was granted provisional measures by the ICJ on May 18 - restraining Pakistan from executing Jadhav, 46, who had been convicted of espionage and sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court.

India approached the ICJ citing that it had been repeatedly denied consular access to Jadhav in violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention.

The Attorney-General also briefed the participants of the meeting about the Pakistan government’s strategy for the case.

The committee members were reportedly not satisfied by the explanations given by the government’s legal team about the case at the last meeting.

The National Assembly speaker told the media that he was satisfied with the briefing by the Attorney-General yesterday.

Senator Sherry Rehman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, however, disputed Speaker Sadiq, saying that everything that was shared with the parliamentary committee members were ‘open source’ information and the replies were unsatisfactory.

“They have committed a lot of mistakes,” Rehman said.

Yesterday’s meeting was the second time the committee had met on the Jadhav case. It will meet again on June 15.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Pakistan claims to have fresh evidence in Jadhav case

Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said Jadhav provided “active intelligence” regarding terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

Ten days after the International Court of Justice in Hague stayed the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav accused of espionage, Pakistan claimed on Tuesday that it had fresh evidence against him.

In a brief statement on Monday, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said Jadhav provided “active intelligence” regarding terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

Attorney-General Ashtar Ausaf, in an interview with Dawn TV, said the fresh evidence against Jadhav, would further boost Pakistan’s case in the ICJ. However, no details were given about the “fresh intelligence”.

Pakistan is expecting the ICJ to take up the case at the earliest.

Jadhav, 46, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “involvement in espionage and sabotage activities” against the country.

The ICJ on May 18 stayed his execution.

(With PTI inputs)

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

ICJ Ruling doesn’t change status of Jadhav case: Pakistan

Moazzam Ahmad Khan, head of Pakistan's delegation and ambassador to the Netherlands, makes a brief statement after hearing the World Court's verdict in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday, May 18, 2017.   | Photo Credit: AP

The UN court has ordered Pakistan not to execute Mr. Jadhav pending the outcome of a case filed by India.

Pakistan on Thursday said the ruling by the International Court of Justice in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian national sentenced to death by a military court for espionage, did not change the status of the case even as Opposition party leaders attacked the government’s handling of the matter at The Hague.

The UN court has ordered Pakistan not to execute Mr. Jadhav pending the outcome of a case filed by India.

Islamabad said it attended the hearing out of its respect for the court and driven by the conviction that the challenge can be made via appearance and not by abstaining from the process. “Pakistan attended because of its conviction that the only way to resolve all outstanding issues is through peaceful means. We are confident that India would not be able to hide the subversive activities it is trying to carry out through its agents like Commander Jadhav,” stated an official statement by the Attorney General’s office.

The AG’s office interpreted the interim order by ICJ as maintaining the status quo in the case. “The court has clearly underscored that the provisional measures are without prejudice to the final determination of the merits and jurisdiction of the case.”

It added: “These provisional measures have no bearing whatsoever on the final decision of the court.”

New legal team

Sartaj Aziz, senior adviser to Prime Minister, said the government will constitute a new legal team to fight the case. Responding to the criticism by opposition parties, he said Pakistan could not have abstained from the hearing as any such move would have given advantage to India.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf slammed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the adverse ICJ ruling. “Pakistan sent a junior lawyer, totally unprepared to defend our case. This spineless government is incapable of standing up to India’s aggression,” PTI leader and member the National Assembly from Islamabad, Asad Umar, tweeted after the ruling.

Justice (retired) Tariq Mehmood, former President of Supreme Court Bar Association, said the ICJ’s decision is a provisional relief. “I am not surprised by the ICJ decision as we need to understand that death penalty is not liked internationally, which is reflected in the decision. But the final decision will be made after arguments on the merits and maintainability and I must say our lawyer has made very valid arguments.”

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Pakistan should not execute Kulbhushan Jadhav till our final verdict, says ICJ

Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the ICJ, delivers the verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the Peace Palace in The Hague on Thursday.  

Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the Court, said that till the final decision by the Court the matter is sub judice.

The International Court of Justice on Thursday effectively stayed the execution of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death in Pakistan on espionage charges. 

The Court said that India should have been granted consular access to its national Kulbhushan Jadhav as per the Vienna Convention.

The ICJ asserted its jurisdiction over the case of Mr. Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by Pakistan on charges of espionage and subversive activities.

The circumstances of Mr. Jadhav’s arrest remain disputed, ICJ president Ronny Abraham said while reading out his verdict.

 

The 11-judge bench of the U.N.’s highest court presented its verdict two days after India and Pakistan gave their submissions.

The Court president Ronny Abraham said the Court unanimously ordered Pakistan to “take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr. Jadhav is not executed.”

 

The 150-day period for clemency given by Pakistan which ends in August suggests that the execution can happen immediately thereafter, Justice Abraham said. “The decision to stay Kulbhushan Jadhav’s execution pending ICJ hearing is unanimous.”

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Pakistan should not execute Kulbhushan Jadhav till final verdict, rules ICJ

International Court of Justice President Judge Ronny Abraham (left) delivers the verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the Peace Palace in The Hague on Thursday.  

Upholds India's plea for consular access; says Pakistan's failure to follow the Vienna Convention falls under its jurisdiction.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday stayed the execution of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on the charge of spying, till its final decision.

 

Here are the live updates:

6.30 p.m.: Speaking on the steps of the court following the order, Pakistan's Ambassador to the UAE Moazzam Ahmad Khan says “It’s a very basic thing the court has done — has given ruling on the provisional measures which is a procedural process and that is about it — the court has given said nothing on the merits or the maintainability of the case.”

6.18 p.m.: While the ICJ’s order on Thursday was strictly confined to the issue of India’s request for provisional measures — effectively staying the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav until the court had had time to come to a decision on the matter — former Supreme Court Judge Dalveer Bhandari adds a further declaration to the order, concluding that “the basic human rights of Mr. Jadhav have been violated by not allowing India to have consular access to him after his arrest and during the pendency of the criminal proceedings against him in Pakistan.”

6.15 p.m.: “Hope concerned authorities of Pakistan have heard. Order created legally binding international obligations,” says the MEA reacting to Pakistan Attorney-General’s comments.

6.00 p.m.: “Every Indian is relieved to hear the ICJ order today. Until the court is seized of the matter, Kulbhushan Jadhav will not be executed,” says the MEA.

5.45 p.m.: India has been “trying to hide its real face” by taking the case to the ICJ and Pakistan will present solid evidence against Jadhav in the court, says Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson.

5.10 p.m.: The sitting attracted the local Indian community as well as tourists. Shekhar Jagtap of J. Shekhar & Co. Advocate & Associates in Mumbai, who attended the session while on holiday, said,  “There is a feeling of great excitement that India's position has been affirmed by the verdict — the arguments by India were prima facie accepted regarding provisional measures, jurisdiction, and urgency. Three important factors that Mr. Salve argued and Dr. Mittal had clarified. There has been a violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.  Now Pakistan must realise there has to be a rule of law.”

5.00  p.m.: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses satisfaction at the ICJ order. He speaks to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to thank her and appreciates the efforts of advocate Harish Salve, who represented India in the case, PTI quotes official sources as saying.

4.25 p.m.: Ms. Swaraj tweets minutes after the verdict, "I assure the nation that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi we will leave no stone unturned to save Kulbhushan Jadhav". Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu also tweets, "International Court of Justice staying execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav has exposed Pakistan. I'm sure final order too will go in our favour."

4.15 p.m.: Pakistan's agent does not make any comment on going on appeal against the verdict.

4.10 p.m.: Mr. Jadhav's childhood friends in Mumbai celebrate the verdict. 

Kulbhushan Jadhav's childhood friends celebrates ICJ verdict.

Kulbhushan Jadhav's childhood friends celebrates ICJ verdict.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

 

4 p.m.: The ICJ unanimously agrees to provisional measures; reminds Pakistan that the verdict is binding on them.

3.51 p.m.: The court finds uncertainty over when Mr. Jadhav’s appeal will be heard, but Pakistan has indicated that it could be after August 1; The court finds in favour of India’s contention that there is an urgency with provisional measures. President of the court Judge Ronny Abraham says till the final decision of the court the matter is sub judice.

3.50 p.m.:  The court has the power to indicate provisional measures that give the rights to the subject of judicial proceedings and if only there is an imminent risk, says Judge Abraham. The fact that Mr. Jadhav might be executed is indicative of the imminent risk that was mentioned, he notes.

3.45 p.m.: The Vienna Convention does not contain provision excluding persons suspected of terrorism or espionage, says Judge Abraham. (Effectively, the court has overruled Pakistan’s objections to the jurisdiction of the ICJ in the issue). 

3.40 p.m.: The ICJ upholds India's plea for consular access. Pakistan's failure to follow the Convention falls under its jurisdiction, it says.

3.38 p.m.: Judge Abraham says, "On the date the application was filed, a dispute existed between the parties as to consular Access with regard to the trial and sentencing of Mr. Jadhav. The acts alleged by India are culpable of falling under the Vienna Convention guaranteeing the right to communicate and have access to consular access rights."

3.30 p.m.: Judge Abraham reads out the details of the case, specifying the arguments of both India and Pakistan.  "Pakistan had denied consular access to  India but it informed India that consular access will be considered after India's assistance in the investigation of the issue.  It appears that under Pakistani law Mr. Jadhav will have 40 days to file an appeal till  i.e.19 May. It is not known if he has done that so far," he says.

Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the ICJ, delivers the verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the Peace Palace in The Hague on Thursday.

Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the ICJ, delivers the verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the Peace Palace in The Hague on Thursday.  

 

"The court must seek to determine whether Article 1 of Optional Protocol prima facie shows whether additional requirements are fulfilled. India and Pakistan are signatories to the Vienna Convention optional protocol since 1976-77.  The court will ascertain whether such a dispute appeared to exist between the parties. The parties appear to have differed and still differ on the question of consular access to Jadhav and the Convention."

 

The Indian delegation at the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

The Indian delegation at the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.   | Photo Credit: Vidya Ram

 

3.00 p.m: Interest builds up ahead of the verdict with members of the Indian community in The Hague. Harbhajan Singh who has lived in The Hague for 40 years has come to hear about the case. This is his first visit to the ICJ. “We want to show our support for Mr. Jadhav," he says. With him is Yasphal Singh, who lives in Alkmaar near Amsterdam.

Pakistan should not execute Kulbhushan Jadhav till final verdict, rules ICJ

So will the verdict be legally binding?

The decision only pertains to India’s request for the indication of provisional measures, and not on its wider application regarding Mr. Jadhav’s fate. An order would be legally binding on Pakistan, unlike the letter that was sent to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last week, calling for the execution not to take place until the hearings happen. The court President's letter indicates that the ICJ may take on prima facie jurisdiction of India's request under Article 74 for provisional measures.

The sentencing

Mr. Jadhav was sentenced to death in a Field General Court Martial on April 10, 2017 after three-and-a-half months of trial. He has been accused of espionage, working for India’s R&AW. He was allegedly arrested from Balochistan on March 3 last year.  

While Pakistan said that it has a "confession video" of Mr. Jadhav saying he spied for India, India argued that Pakistan violated the provisions of the Vienna Convention on consular access. Pakistan has rejected consular access 16 times so far. 

 

As a rare case, India approached the ICJ, seeking relief in the form of the immediate suspension of Jadhav's death sentence and a declaration that the sentenced handed to him was in defiance of rights defined by the Vienna Convention and in violation of basic human rights.

ICJ's fourth death penalty case

It can be noted that this is the fourth case involving the death penalty heard by the ICJ. Also, This is the first death penalty case at the ICJ not involving the United States.

(With inputs from agencies)

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ICJ verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav at 3.30 p.m. today

Pakistani journalists watch a video showing India’s Kulbhushan Yadav, arrested on suspicion of spying, during a press conference in Islamabad March 29, 2016.  

International Court of Justice will decide whether to order Pakistan to temporarily halt the execution of the former Indian naval officer after what India termed a “farcical” military trial.

The International Court of Justice is to deliver its order on India’s request for the indication of provisional measures, that could put a temporary halt on the execution of Khulbhushan Jadhav.

Jadhav has been accused by Pakistan of espionage and terrorism, but India says he was kidnapped, framed and sentenced following a “farcical” trial.

The decision on India’s request will be delivered at 12 pm local time (3.30 pm India) in a public sitting at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the UN’s principal judicial organ, also known as the “World Court’ said on Wednesday, just two days after public hearings on the matter.

Dr. Deepak Mittal, joint secretary of India's Ministry of External Affairs, right, and his delegation wait for judges to enter the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, May 15, 2017.

Dr. Deepak Mittal, joint secretary of India's Ministry of External Affairs, right, and his delegation wait for judges to enter the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, May 15, 2017.   | Photo Credit: AP

The decision will be read by the President of the ICJ, Ronny Abraham, who was one of the 11 ICJ judges who heard the arguments put forward by the Indian and Pakistani delegations during two intense one and a half hour sessions.

During Monday’s hearings, open to members of the public and broadcast live, India’s Counsel Harish Salve accused Pakistan of “egregious violations” of the Vienna Convention on Consular Access, which he said allowed “no exception” and alleged that Pakistan had kidnapped Mr. Jadhav from Iran, and had framed and extracted a confession from him.

India based its case on the Vienna Convention rather than on a 2008 agreement on consular access between India and Pakistan, he said. However, Pakistan’s Agent, the country’s Ambassador to the UAE Moazzam Ahmad Khan ridiculed the suggestion that Mr. Jadhav’s execution was imminent. “We have no reason to stop the canary from singing,” he told the court. Pakistan’s Counsel Qureshi dubbed Mr. Jadhav a “terrorist” and accused India of ambushing it with the push for provisional measures, while Mr. Jadhav had 150 days to appeal his sentence. While India sought to highlight previous ICJ cases to point to jurisdiction in the case, Pakistan countered by pointing to instances in which India had questioned its remit.

While it is not the fastest decision to have been made by the ICJ (in the LeGrand case that also involved a potential execution and was between Germany and the United States the order was given within a day), Thursday’s decision will be among the speedier ones. The decision only pertains to India’s request for th indication of provisional measures, and not on its wider application regarding Mr. Jadhav’s situation.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav’s trial farcical, says India at ICJ

Dr. Deepak Mittal, joint secretary of India's Ministry of External Affairs, right, and his delegation wait for judges to enter the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, May 15, 2017.   | Photo Credit: AP

At urgent ICJ hearing, Pakistan says Vienna Convention provisions were not intended for spies

The International Court of Justice will decide whether to order Pakistan to temporarily halt the execution of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav after what India termed a “farcical” military trial in Pakistan, following a day of intense public hearings at the Peace Palace here.

During the hearings, India’s Counsel Harish Salve accused Pakistan of “egregious violations” of the Vienna Convention on Consular Access.

‘Situation is grave’

“The situation we find ourselves in is grave and it is urgent and is the reason we have sought the indulgence of this court for a hearing on the indication of provisional measures,” he told the court during a 90-minute session on Monday morning. “The Vienna Convention offers no exception.”

In its presentation, Pakistan dubbed Mr. Jadhav a “terrorist” and accused India of ambushing it by pushing for provisional measures (stay on execution) from the court, denying the need for extreme urgency in the case. It asserted that Mr. Jadhav had 150 days to legally challenge his sentence, while stating that the Vienna Convention provisions were not intended for a ‘spy’ involved in terror activities.

 

The decision of the court, in the form of an order, could come within days, with the shortest period ever taken by the court on an order being the day after the hearing.

Opening the arguments for India, Joint Secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Deepak Mittal was scathing about the “miscarriage of justice” and the “concocted charges” on which Mr. Jadhav was arrested and sentenced.

Mr Mittal warned that without provisional measures requested by India, Pakistan would execute Mr. Jadhav before the court could consider the merits of India’s claim, doing “irreparable damage” to the rights of India and Mr. Jadhav.

Later in the afternoon, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UAE and Agent for Pakistan at the hearing Moazzam Ahmad Khan said, “We will not be cowed…we will not allow any attempt to malign or misrepresent our processes to go unchecked.”

Ahead of Pakistan’s session in the afternoon, speculation centred on whether it would be able to air the video of Mr. Jadhav’s alleged confession, already available online. The court, however, denied permission.

On consular access

Addressing the court, Mr Mittal said India had made repeated requests for assistance on consular access, which was denied and eventually told that access would only be given in light of India’s cooperation in the Pakistani investigation.

Mr. Salve accused Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna convention,” right from Mr. Jadhav’s arrest in March 2016. He described as “facetious” a May 12 communication from Pakistan that outlined the legal avenues open to Mr. Jadhav, noting that it had failed to provide an assurance that the sentence would not be carried out. India relied solely on the Vienna Convention and not the agreement between India and Pakistan on consular access, he said.

“Boot straps” argument

Pakistan’s counsel Khawar Qureshi QC rejected the extreme urgency of the case, arguing that the demand for provisional measures amounted to a “boot straps’ argument. He added that questions over the “palpably false passport” on which Mr. Jadhav was arrested, allegedly in Balochistan, required further explanation.

He also pointed to past hearings where India had sought to challenge the jurisdiction of the court, and questioned the characterization of the 2008 agreement as not relevant. “Serious allegations have been made against a member state of the United Nations and not one jot of evidence has been provided by India,” he said and described India’s allegations that Mr. Jadhav was kidnapped in Iran as “far fetched.”

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Not one jot of evidence provided by India, says Pakistan at ICJ

The Indian delegation at the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.   | Photo Credit: Vidya Ram

The court’s judgment, which could follow as early as in a few days or take several months, is binding with no appeal.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague held public hearings on the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Indian Naval officer, who was arrested and sentenced to death by Pakistan in April over allegations of espionage and abetting terror.

The one-day hearing involved two sessions of an hour-and-a-half, according India and Pakistan an opportunity to make their case, starting with India in the morning. Pakistan’s session followed later in the afternoon. The court’s judgment, which could follow as early as in a few days or take several months, is binding with no appeal.

Vidya Ram sends updates from The Hague:

7.35 p.m.: Mr. Salve speaks to The Hindu outside the court. "Either he is an India spy or he is not an Indian national - I don't know how he is both."

7.20 p.m.: Court will render its order as soon as possible. The date of the delivering of the order will be duly communicated, says Judge Ronny Abraham. With that, the sitting is closed.

7.10 p.m.: Mr. Qureshi brings up the question of the "palpably false passport". " India says Jadhav is an Indian national. What has India done to prove that or establish that?," he asks. "It may not be surprising why that is the case."

 

Mr. Qureshi brings up the 2008 agreement, "which we've been told is not relevant. It is unfortunate that a technical argument is being brought before this court. Serious allegations have been made against a member state of the United Nations and not one jot of evidence has been provided by India."

He says kidnapping Mr. Jadhav from Iran for the sole purpose of getting a confession out of him seemed "far fetched". Says there is a long border between India and Pakistan, they could have taken anyone they wanted, so why would they take Jadhav from Iran?

It was said at this court that the Govt of Pakistan was denying consular access to Jadhav. Nothing can be further from the truth, says Mr. Qureshi. 

6.40 p.m.: Pakistan accuses India of ambushing it by bringing this case and rejects the need for urgency on this case. Q.C. Khawar Qureshi is presenting Pakistan's case.

Mr. Qureshi - India should have only brought this application in extreme emergencies. It is clear after our arguments that there is no urgency with this. Govt of Pakistan is confident that law will prevail and India will find its claim has been dismissed. The question of access to Jadhav will be decided on the merits. The Indian authority were provided with the detailed copy of the FIR. Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan. He crossed in from Iran. His confession video was aired on 25 of March.  Provisional measures cannot and will not flow if the relief that India is seeking cannot be granted in this court. These provisional measures sought by India are "boot straps argument". India's only goal is the stay order.

Pakistan brings up past cases where India had questioned jurisdiction of the court in 1974, and 1999/2000.

6.35 p.m.: Pakistan responds to India's charges.

6.30 p.m.: Pakistan will not broadcast the confession video as speculated earlier.

6.15 pm:  The hearings are being held in front of 11 of the court’s 15 judges, including President Ronny Abraham of France, and Indian Judge Dalveer Bhandari. The judges are elected to nine year terms by the Security Council and General Assembly and are required to put their national loyalties aside in the consideration of cases, being independent magistrates rather than representatives of their government.  As none of the judges include a Pakistani judge, Pakistan would theoretically have the right to appoint a person to sit as a judge ad hoc for the purpose of the case. However, this has not happened so far.

5.10 pm: Speculations are rife that Pakistan might broadcast the video of the alleged confession at second half of the hearing at the ICJ.

 

4.30 pm: With the Pakistan session a few hours away, Pakistan channels are reporting that their delegation will accuse India of terrorism in its arguments later in the day.

3.40 pm: Harish Salve says to the media outside the court, "We are here in the hope that Jadhav will not be executed. At present, we are looking for provisional measures."

3.20 pm: The Delegation from Pakistan is:

Moazzam Ahmad Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to UAE as Agent

Mohammad Faisal, DG (South Asia & SAARC) as Agent

Syed Faraz Hussain Zaidi, Counsellor of the Pakistan Embassy in the Netherlands as Adviser

Q.C. Khawar Qureshi as Counsel

Asad Rahim Khan as Junior Counsel

Joseph Dyke as Legal Assistant

3.10 pm: The ICJ judge closes the session. Pakistan will present its case later in the day. 

3.10 pm: Mr. Mittal presents his closing statements and thanks the ICJ.

3.00 pm: Mr. Salve says -  In its letter of 21st March, Pakistan said to India that the request of consular access can be entertained if India assists in the investigation.  The more serious the charge the greater the need to ensure procedural safeguards to ensure that the accused gets a fair trial.  The confession played a significant part in the case. The allegations were made even as Jadhav's basic rights were denied.  India has a strong case that provisional measures be executed that Pakistan take all measures to ensure Jadhav is not executed; that the Pak. government ensure that no action be taken that might prejudice the rights of India or of Jadhav.

2.55 pm: Mr. Salve says," The rights of Article 36 are sacrosanct. The rights of consular access are a significant step in the evolution of human rights in international law. Article 6 of the ICCPR recognises that no one can be arbitrarily deprived of their lives.  In determination of criminal charges, everyone can be entitled to a fair hearing. The person should be given Legal assistance of his own choosing and should be informed of  his rights in the interest of justice. In order to make this principle a reality, adherence to rules of Vienna Convention becomes vital. The graver the charge greater is the need for punctilious adherence to the Vienna Convetion.

 

2.45 pm: Mr Salve: On obtaining information on Jadhav's detainment India sought consular access on the same day. Following that, many  requests for access has been made by India.  Indian Nationality of Jadhav of has never been in doubt. Thus the Vienna Convention has been breached by Pakistan in the issue of consular access to Jadhav. There was a purported confession by him that was the basis of their case.  The Vienna Convention does not include any exceptions in respect to Consular access.  This underlines the farcical nature of the trial.  On 19th April India handed over a note to Pakistan seeking details of the charges and the summary of the trial proceedings. 

2.33 pm: Mr. Salve says,"India relies on the Vienna Convention. Mr. Salve refers to the case between Bulgaria and Belgium as precedent in the issue of jurisdiction.  The agreement between India and Pakistan on consular access is irrelevant.  India does not rely and does not need to rely on this agreement. It bases its case solely on the Vienna Convention. 

2.20 pm: Mr. Salve says," India asserts in the application that Pakistan denied consular access to Jadhav. The reasons for the said denial was also not given to India.  India has not been given a copy of the charges or the verdict and hence  has been unable to check the charges. The Vienna Convention offers no exception. India asserts that the breach of the Vienna Convention is fatal.  Under Article 36, jurisdiction exists in respect of all cases that parties refer to and in respect of all matters specially provided for in treaties and conventions."

1.58 pm: Harish Salve as India's counsel starts presenting his statement -  I am grateful to the ICJ for taking up the case at such short notice.  India has moved ICJ under  Article 14 seeking suspension of the sentence awarded to Mr. Jadhav.  The case is grave and urgent. Mr. Salve refers to precedent of past cases including LaGrand case between Germany and US in 1982.  The case refers to the hearing before the ICJ which concerned the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. 

Harish Salve says,"Jadhav's mother has filed for an appeal which was transmitted to Pakistan via diplomatic paths.  The communication of 12th May does not clarify on what his charges are or any clarity on the request for clemency.  Pakistan said that Jadhav's sentence is based on credible evidence in espionage against Pakistan. India refuses these allegations and says that Jadhav was kidnapped and framed.  India has taken measures to ensure appropriate legal measures for Jadhav.  It is not known whether Jadhav will seek clemency in the present circumstances.

 

1.52 pm: V.D. Sharma, Joint Secretary, MEA as co-Agent presents statement:  Pakistan failed to comply to all its obligations under Article 36. It denied consular access to Mr. Jadhav ever since his arrest. India and Pakistan are both parties to the case and the issue has been brought to ICJ by ICJ. The bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan is irrelevant at this juncture, says Mr. Sharma. 

1.45 pm: India has been reiterating its request to Pakistan on consular access to Jadhav, says Mr. Mittal. India learnt from press reports that death sentence was awarded to Mr. Jadhav on the basis of a alleged confession. Pakistan has not provided the chargesheet, any documents on the case despite repeated requests. It is clear that Mr. Jadhav has been denied of his right to seek legal counsel.  Mr. Jadhav's parents have applied for visa to travel to Pakistan which has fallen on deaf ears: Mr. Mittal.

1.40 pm: Deepak Mittal as India's Agent starts his opening statements seeking immediate suspension of the death sentence awarded to Kulbushan Jadhav.  Calling Pakistan's trial as 'farcical', Mr. Mittal introduces the Indian delegation at the Court. 

India has been reiterating its request to Pakistan on consular access to Jadhav. India learnt from press reports that death sentence was awarded to Mr. Jadhav on the basis of a alleged confession. Pakistan has not provided the chargesheet, any documents on the case despite repeated requests, says Mr. Mittal.

1.30 pm:  The judges read out the demands of both the countries. Each of the parties will have full 90 minute sitting - India may avail itself of short extension beyond 11.30 am (local time) this morning. 

1.20 pm: The Delegation from Pakistan includes:

Moazzam Ahmad Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to UAE as Agent

Mohammad Faisal, DG (South Asia & SAARC) as Agent

Syed Faraz Hussain Zaidi, Counsellor of the Pakistan Embassy in the Netherlands as Adviser

Q.C. Khawar Qureshi as Counsel

Asad Rahim Khan as Junior Counsel

Joseph Dyke as Legal Assistant

(An earlier version of this report said that Moazzam Ahmad Khan, is the Ambassador of Pakistan to The Netherlands. Mr. Khan is actually Pak. Ambassador to UAE.)

1:15 pm: Here are India's demands in the case:

  • India has sought relief in the form of immediate suspension of the death sentence, and a declaration that the sentenced handed to Mr. Jadhav was in defiance of Vienna Convention rights 
  • India says that without provisional measure, Pakistan will execute Jadhav before the court can consider merits of his claim
  • It also calls for the court to restrain Pakistan from “giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court” and to direct it to annul the decision of the military court.

The International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands.

The International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands.   | Photo Credit: Vidya Ram

 

1:00 pm: Joint Secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran) MEA, Deepak Mittal, is India's principal agent, who opens and closes the arguments. Others in the delegation will contribute.

Deepak Mittal as Agent

V.D. Sharma,Joint Secretary, MEA as co-Agent

Harish Salve as Counsel

Kajal Bhat, First Secretary, Embassy of India in the Netherlands as Adviser

Chetna N. Rai as Junior Counsel

12:45 am: Pakistan's delegation has arrived at the venue. Today's proceedings is expected to begin by 1:30 pm  and will be heard by 11 judges.

12:40 pm: Pakistan will be presenting its case using past precedent where India has refused the ICJ jurisdiction, including in the 1999 Atlantique case of a plane that was shot down by India.

12:30 pm: Ahead of the hearing, legal teams from India and Pakistan arrived at The Hague. The Indian team, led by former solicitor general Harish Salve who won the stay at the ICJ last week, is expected to focus on the violations of the Vienna convention by Pakistan on the issue of consular access, and on the lack of transparency in the Pakistani military court, which India has said, in its 12-page appeal, qualifies for the trial to be pronounced “illegal”.

12:20 pm: The case of Mr. Jadhav — whom Pakistan accuses of being a spy for India’s Intelligence Agency Research and Analysis Wing, but who India says is innocent and has been kidnapped by Pakistani agents from Iran — has become a proxy for tensions between the two countries. n

(With inputs from Kallol Bhattacherjee)

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Jadhav case: Hope justice in the form of provisional measures will be given, says Harish Salve

Delegations of India, left, and Pakistan, right, wait for judges to enter the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands, on Monday   | Photo Credit: AP

As the ICJ began hearing Mr. Jadhav’s case, India argued that human rights treated as “basics” all over had been thrown to the wind by Pakistan.

Following the presentation of India’s arguments to a panel of 11 judges at the International Court of Justice at The Hague on the case of former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, attention will soon turn to Pakistan’s case which will be made before the court at 3pm local time (6.30 pm Indian time), and which will last for 90 minutes.

 

The public hearings are being held on India’s request for provisional measures, which were made on an urgent basis until the court decides on the substance of the case. The notice for the hearing was one of the shortest in the history of the court. The Indian delegation was led by Dr. Deepak Mittal, Jt Secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran), MEA, with Dr. V.D. Sharma, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs as co-agent, and Mr. Harish Salve as Counsel.

 

Opening the arguments for India - during a 90 minute session on Monday morning - Mr. Mittal was scathing about the “miscarriage of justice” and the “concocted charges” on which Mr. Jadhav had been arrested and sentenced, and described his trial  in Pakistan as “farcical.” He warned that without provisional measures requested by India, Pakistan would executive Mr. Jadhav before the court could consider the merits of India’s claim, doing “irreparable damage” to the rights of India and Mr. Salve.

 

India had made repeated requests for assistance on consular access, which had been denied and had been eventually told that access would only be given in light of India’s cooperation in the Pakistani investigation. Jadhav’s mother had submitted an appeal but without access to the details of the case and the charge sheet, this was an “act of desperation by a grieving parent.” The family’s application for a visa to travel to Pakistan had to date received no response.

 

However, it fell to Harish Salve, India’s Counsel, to deliver the details of India’s case. “The situation we find ourselves in is grave and it is urgent and is the reason we have sought the indulgence of this court for a hearing on the indication of provisional measures,” he said as he pointed to a string of past cases heard by the court to establish its jurisdiction in this area, and past precedents on the issue of provisional measures.

 

He accused Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna convention,” right from the time of Mr. Jadhav’s arrest in March 2016.  He described as “facetious” a May 12 communication from Pakistan that had outlined the legal avenues open to Mr. Jadhav, noting that it had failed to provide an assurance that the sentence would not be carried out

 

Speaking following the hearing Mr. Salve expressed his hope that “justice” in the form of provisional measures would be delivered following the hearings, and that India was “here in the hope” that it would lead to annulment of the death sentence.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

The Hague battle for Kulbhushan Jadhav on Monday

Powai residents form a human chain in solidarity with Kulbhushan Jadhav.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

India has acknowledged that it is rare for it to turn to the international court, a break from its stated position that it will not internationalise disputes with Pakistan.

The Peace Palace, home of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, will on Monday hold public hearings on the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Indian Naval officer, who was arrested and sentenced to death by Pakistan in April over allegations of espionage and abetting terror.

The one-day hearing will involve two sessions of an hour and a half, according India and Pakistan an opportunity to make their case, starting with India in the morning. Pakistan’s session will follow in the afternoon. The court’s judgment, which could follow as early as in a few days or take several months, is binding with no appeal.

On Friday, ICJ President Ronny Abraham directed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to “act in such a way as to enable the court to enforce any decision it takes on the India plea,” effectively staying Jadhav’s execution until the court was able to hear and deliberate on the matter.

 

Ahead of the hearing, legal teams from India and Pakistan arrived at The Hague. The Indian team, led by former solicitor general Harish Salve who won the stay at the ICJ last week, is expected to focus on the violations of the Vienna convention by Pakistan on the issue of consular access, and on the lack of transparency in the Pakistani military court, which India has said, in its 12-page appeal, qualifies for the trial to be pronounced “illegal”.

The Pakistani team will be led by Attorney-General Ashtar Ausaf, assisted by senior lawyer Asad Rahim. Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, who has prior experience at the UN, is also expected to fly to The Hague, where Pakistan will be presenting its case using past precedent where India has refused the ICJ jurisdiction, including in the 1999 Atlantique case of a plane that was shot down by India.

Mr. Jadhav was denied 16 requests for consular access over the course of a year, while his family has not been issued visas to travel to Pakistan either, to help in any appeal process, says India.

 

India has sought relief in the form of immediate suspension of the death sentence, and a declaration that the sentenced handed to Mr. Jadhav was in defiance of Vienna Convention rights and in defiance of elementary human rights. It also calls for the court to restrain Pakistan from “giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court” and to direct it to annul the decision of the military court.

“If Pakistan is unable to annul the decision, then this Court [is] to declare the decision illegal being violative of international law and treaty rights and restrain Pakistan from acting in violation of the Vienna Convention and international law by giving effect to the sentence or the conviction in any manner, and directing it to release the convicted Indian National forthwith.”

Epitomises tensions

The case of Mr. Jadhav — whom Pakistan accuses of being a spy for India’s Intelligence Agency Research and Analysis Wing, but who India says is innocent and has been kidnapped by Pakistani agents from Iran — has become a proxy for tensions between the two countries.

India has acknowledged that it is rare for it to turn to the international court, a break from its stated position that it will not internationalise disputes with Pakistan.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Surprised by ICJ order, Pak. mulls next move

Pakistan’s Attorney General’s Office in the Supreme Court building in Islamabad is witnessing unusual late sittings these days. India’s application in the International Court of Justice against the hanging of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been convicted of espionage in Pakistan, and the ICJ intervention have caught many by surprise in Islamabad.

After a military court in Rawalpindi sentenced Jadhav to death on April 10, Pakistani authorities had turned a blind eye to India’s responses. India was denied consular access to Jadhav. No lawyer in Pakistan was willing to take up his appeal. Just when the Pakistani government thought the Jadhav case is almost closed, India moved the ICJ at The Hague.

The prime Minster’s Senior Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told reporters that Pakistan is examining the Indian move and the Foreign Office will soon respond in detail. The response is yet to come.

On the other hand, Attorney General Ishtar Ausaf’s office is combing through bilateral treaties and agreements. Pakistan’s first line of defence to counter India’s plea was an agreement reached in 2008 on consular access. Clause VI of the agreement says a ‘decision to grant consular access in cases where detentions and arrests relate to political or security matters” will be taken “on the merits of the case”.

The Atlantique incident of 1999, when a Pakistan Navy plane was shot down by India in the disputed Rann of Kutch area, is of special interest to Pakistan. After the incident, Pakistan invoked ICJ jurisdiction against India. But India got a reprieve in a 14-2 majority verdict as ICJ held that the international court has no jurisdiction in the presence of bilateral agreements. Pakistani lawyers believe the precedence of Atlantique case can be the first obstacle for India in the Jadhav case.

Besides, Pakistani officials say the military court verdict on Jadhav is not final. “There are at least three forums of appeals left. One is the review in FGCM (Field General Court Martial), the second is the Supreme Court and the final is the mercy petition. Pakistan will argue before the ICJ that since appeals are available in Pakistan therefore the ICJ cannot take up the case,” a lawyer associated with finalising Pakistan’s response said.

Ali Nawaz Chohan, who served as a judge at ICJ during 2006-09, shares the same view. “Pakistan’s best defence is that India should exhaust all forums of appeals in Pakistan before contacting the ICJ,” he said.

But he feared that the ICJ being very sensitive to human rights cases can overlook its jurisdiction. “It can apply the Vienna Convention of the law of treaties of 1969 (VCOLT) to which Pakistan is a signatory to override all local laws of the country if it is convinced that any violation of human rights has taken place,” he pointed out.

He stressed that a consular access by Pakistan at any level to Jadhav would have closed this small window of opportunity for India.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

ICJ writ may not be applicable to Pakistan

Islamabad has revised its commitment to the body in March

Prominent commentators have expressed doubts over the ability of the International Court of Justice to enforce its order in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. The case, which will come up for hearing on May 15, is likely to face a difficult hurdle as Pakistan had on March 29 revised its commitment to the ICJ and has withdrawn all domestic and national security related issues from the jurisdiction of the court.

 

“Pakistan is a rogue state and India’s concerns are far greater than just the case over Kulbhushan Jadhav. The real issue is that the ICJ may not have the abilities to enforce its final order,” said strategic affairs commentator Brahma Chellany. He went on to say that Pakistan is likely to challenge the ICJ’s jurisdiction over the Jadhav case in view of its March 29 declaration.

In a declaration to the ICJ, days before the announcement of death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pakistan had informed the court that issues related to its domestic sphere and national security issues would no longer be part of the ICJ jurisdiction.

 

“Disputes relating to or connected with any aspect of hostilities, armed conflicts, individual or collective self-defence or the discharge of any functions pursuant to any decision or recommendation of international bodies, the deployment of armed forces abroad, as well as action relating and ancillary thereto in which Pakistan is, has been or may in future be involved,” stated the declaration made by its envoy to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi.

The declaration from Pakistan was made even as a military court sentenced Mr Jadhav to death on charges of sabotage and violence against the state of Pakistan. The Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday that India moved the ICJ to save the life of Mr Jadhav. However, commentators said that India might win the arguments and yet find it difficult to pin down Pakistan in this case.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Hope and joy over reprieve for Kulbhushan Jadhav

Kulbushan Jadhav’s residence in Powai.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate

Stay on former Indian naval officer’s execution comes as a source of solace for family and friends in Mumbai

The stay on the execution of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by the International Court of Justice was welcomed with both hope and jubilation by his family and friends in Mumbai.

Kulbhushan, who used to stay with his family in Powai, was arrested by the Pakistan military in March last year on espionage charge. The Government of India has since then been trying to free him. However, in April this year, he was sentenced to death.

Speaking to The Hindu, Jadhav's uncle, retired Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Subhash Jadhav said, “We just want our child back. There is really nothing to say beyond that. The decision comes as a ray of hope and we are all, as a family, standing united with Kulbhushan.”

Father, mother in Delhi

Kulbhushan's father, Sudhir Jadhav, who also retired as an ACP with the Mumbai Police, is reportedly in Delhi with his wife, following up with the Central government on the next steps in the process of securing his son's release.

Kulbhushan's friends, who stay in Lower Parel, as well as residents of Powai, welcomed the news of the stay on his execution with elation and expressed their happiness over the fact that there had been at least one positive step.

“We learned about the news late on Tuesday night and could hardly believe it. The first thing we did this morning was to get together and distribute sweets in the area. Finally, there is some indication that we will see our friend again,” said Kulbhushan’s childhood friend Tulsidas Pawar, who had started a signature campaign demanding that Kulbhushan be brought home as soon as possible. The two men grew up in the same area till the Jadhavs shifted to Powai.

‘A beginning made’

“I had recently heard from Kulbhushan’s family. They had sent us a message through some mutual friends saying that they found our effort to be a source of support, and urged us to keep up the good work. I had promised them that I would not give up. I am sure that now that a beginning has been made, the truth will prevail,” Mr. Pawar said.

Residents of the Hiranandani area too came together outside the Silver Oak building where the Jadhavs stay and distributed sweets. The residents had come together to form a human chain outside the buidling in a peaceful protest demanding Kulbhushan's release.

“Since the time he was arrested, he has been out of reach. The Indian government wanted consular access but he was deprived of it. Finally, the Ministry of External Affairs took the matter to the International court and now a fair trial will begin,” said ex-Indian Air Force officer Sudhir Shetty, who lives in the area.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Nawaz Sharif discusses Jadhav issue with Pak Army chief

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Pakistan PM and Javed Bajwa also discussed other issues including the Dawn leaks controversy.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday discussed the International Court of Justice’s stay order on the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, media reports said.

During the meeting, which lasted for around 90 minutes, Mr. Sharif was briefed on the “latest situation” regarding Jadhav’s case, the Geo News reported.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Tuesday stayed the execution of 46-year-old Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “spying”.

The order by the Hague-based ICJ came a day after India approached it against the death sentence handed down to Mr. Jadhav by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial last month.

 

India, in its appeal to the ICJ, accused Pakistan of “egregious” violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy but Pakistan claimed to have arrested him from Balochistan on March 3, 2016.

In the meeting, Mr. Sharif and Mr. Bajwa also discussed other issues including the Dawn leaks controversy and Pak-Afghan relations, the channel said.

The meeting between the Army chief and the premier is the second one within a week and is significant in light of the civil-military row over Dawn’s leaked report that had angered the powerful army.

On May 6, Prime Minister Sharif had met the Army chief and both discussed the Dawn Leaks issue, among other things.

Mr. Sharif and the Army chief had agreed that the issues surrounding Dawn leaks would be dealt with amicably.

In October, a columnist for Dawn wrote a front-page story about a rift between civilian and military leaderships over militant groups that operate from Pakistan but engage in proxy war against India and Afghanistan.

The Army took strong exception to the Dawn story. The military had called the leak of the meeting a breach of national security and urged strong, punitive action against those responsible for leaking information to the newspaper.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

India approached ICJ as Jadhav is in illegal detention: MEA

File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage'.   | Photo Credit: PTI

On India's plea, the International Court Justice on Tuesday stayed his execution after a Pakistan military court sentenced him to death on the charge of “spying”.

India decided to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the issue of former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav as he is in illegal detention and his life is under threat in Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday.

On India's plea, the ICJ at the Hague on Tuesday stayed the execution of Jadhav. He was sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on the charge of “spying,”

MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said the decision was taken after careful deliberation. He pointed out that India made 16 requests for consular access to Jadhav but there was no response from Pakistan on the demand.

“Islamabad has also not responded to India’s request for papers relating to his case,” he noted.

 

There was also no information on the status of appeal by Jadhav’s family against the execution order, he said.

Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had written to Pakistan Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz on April 27 requesting visa for Jadhav’s family.

The ICJ order came a day after India approached the world court against the death sentence.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

International Court of Justice stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution

A differently-abled person participates in a signature campaign against the death sentence to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistani military court, in Nagpur.   | Photo Credit: S. Sudarshan

India took the extreme step of approaching the ICJ because Pakistan “broke all norms”

In a major breakthrough in the Government of India’s efforts to save former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav from the death sentence awarded to him by a Pakistan military court on charges of terrorism and spying for India's intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague has stayed his execution. In a petition to the ICJ, India had accused Pakistan of gross violation of international laws.

Ordering the stay, ICJ President Justice Ronny Abraham directed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to “act in such a way so as to enable the court to enforce any decision it takes on the Indian plea.” This effectively stays Jadhav’s execution until the court hears the matter and passes orders.

In the petition filed on May 8, a team of lawyers, led by senior advocate Harish Salve, listed out the details of the Jadhav case and the “egregious violations” of the Vienna convention that deals with Consular relations, including Pakistan’s refusal to give any details of Jadhav’s arrest and trial until after the death sentence was passed, failure to provide consular access to India despite 15 attempts, and suggesting access would be given only in exchange for information about Jadhav from India.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she had informed Jadhav’s mother of the order.

India has rarely approached the ICJ in the past, given its hesitation to “internationalise” its bilateral relations, especially when it comes to Pakistan. However a senior official told The Hindu that the Jadhav case required the extreme measure, as “Pakistan had refused to follow any established norm or principle.”

In the petition explaining the urgency, India said that “without the provisional measures requested, Pakistan will execute Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav before the Court can consider the merits of India’s claims and India will forever be deprived of the opportunity to vindicate its rights”, indicating that a final appeal filed by Jadhav’s mother in the Pakistan Supreme Court could be adjudicated at any time, unless the international court acted.

The ICJ is a part of the United Nations, and its judgments have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned, a press release issued at The Hague on Tuesday said.

An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that the Geneva convention deals with Consular relations. It is the Vienna convention that defines consular relations. The error has been corrected.

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India asks Pakistan for certificate on Jadhav’s health condition

A differently-abled person participates in a signature campaign against the death sentence to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistani military court, in Nagpur.   | Photo Credit: S. Sudarshan

“We haven’t seen, we haven’t met (Jadhav). He has been in Pakistan’s custody for more than a year,” MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay says

India has sought from Pakistan a certificate on the health condition of Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a military court there, the External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday.

MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that the well being and state of Mr. Jadhav’s health is a “matter of great concern” to India as the former Indian Navy officer has been in Pakistan’s custody for more than a year on charges of espionage.

“We haven’t seen, we haven’t met (Jadhav). He has been in Pakistan’s custody for more than a year. So the well being and state of health of Jadhav is a matter of great concern.

“We have asked Pakistani government earlier also, and yesterday our High Commissioner (to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale) made a request on providing a report on his medical condition. So we await Pakistan’s response,” Mr. Baglay said.

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A mom’s plea to to save her son reaches Pak. doorsteps

Jadhav’s mother seeks to meet him; India calls for consular access once again

India on Wednesday handed over to Pakistan, a letter of appeal from the mother of former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a military court on espionage charges.

Apart from the letter, India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale also conveyed to Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, the request for consular access for Mr. Jadhav, for the 16th time.

“Also handed over was the appeal by the mother to the Court of Appeal, on behalf of Shri. Jadhav, who continues to be in detention in Pakistan on concocted charges. The mother of Shri. Jadhav has requested the intervention of the Federal Government of Pakistan for his release and has expressed the desire to meet him,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Appeal within 40 days

The process of appeal was laid out by Sartaj Aziz, Adviser on Foreign Affairs to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, on April 14. Mr. Aziz said that Mr. Jadhav could appeal against the death sentence to an Appellate Court, within 40 days. The MEA indicated that Mr. Jadhav’s family members were likely to travel to Pakistan to fight the case.

“Pakistan was… requested to facilitate visas for the mother and father of Shri. Jadhav. They wish to travel to Pakistan to meet him and also to personally file the petition and the appeal,” the Ministry of External Affairs stated in a press release. The statement revealed that the parents had applied for visas to the High Commission of Pakistan in Delhi.

Mr. Jadhav’s case was also discussed by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit in a meeting held on Tuesday, the MEA said. Mr. Jadhav will have the option of lodging a mercy petition with the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) of Pakistan within 60 days of the decision by the appellate court.

Mr. Jadhav is also entitled to apply for mercy from the President of Pakistan within 90 days after the decision of CoAS on the mercy petition. However, the entire process of appealing in the case has come under a cloud following non-availability of Pakistani lawyers willing to fight on his behalf.

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Recourse to ICJ ‘carefully considered’

Reason for cheer: Dabbawalas distribute sweets at Lower Parel in Mumbai on Wednesday to celebrate the stay on the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav.  

The ultimate aim is to save Jadhav’s life, says Centre

A day after India got a stay on Pakistan’s death sentence to arrested former Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav at an international tribunal, the government defended going to the tribunal, as a “carefully considered decision.” The Ministry of External Affairs said the decision to resort to arbitration at the International Court of Justice, after a gap of 46 years, was appropriate as the ultimate aim is to save Mr. Jadhav’s life.

“Despite requesting the government of Pakistan, we did not get the documents on the case. We do not know the status of the petition and the appeal filed by the mother of Mr. Jadhav. The visas sought for by his family have not been granted. In this situation to save the life of an Indian who was kidnapped and who was not given a fair trial, we have approached the International Court of Justice,” said spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Gopal Baglay. He added, “the case is a consular matter.”

India had repeatedly sought consular access to Mr. Jadhav and had been repeatedly denied it. The spokesperson said the ICJ had informed New Delhi about the steps it has initiated in response to India’s request.

 

The ICJ on Tuesday stated in a press release that India seeks suspension of the death sentence that has been given to Mr. Jadhav by a Pakistani military tribunal. India is expected to take up the case on May 15 when senior advocate Harish Salve will represent it.

Pakistan did not comment on the stay order, with Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz saying that Islamabad was currently studying the issue of jurisdiction of the ICJ. In a tweet, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja M. Asif alleged that the Indian move was part of a diversionary tactic. “Indian letter to ICJ attempts to divert attention from state-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan. Kulbhushan convicted of offences against (Pakistani) national security,” Mr. Asif said.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wedensday discussed the ICJ’s order, media reports from Islamabad said. During the meeting, which lasted around 90 minutes, Mr. Sharif was briefed on the “latest situation” regarding Jadhav’s case.

 

India has in the past refused to accept the jurisdiction of the ICJ on issues such as the Atlantique aircraft incident of 1999 and in the Saurav Kalia case. However, the MEA spokesperson sought to differentiate between the consular and human rights issues. “Jurisdiction is not for me to decide. As of now, we have been informed of the action that the court has initiated in this matter. This is a carefully considered decision to save the life of a son of India,” the spokesperson said.

However, in a sign that the current standoff over Mr. Jadhav is leading to greater strain in bilateral ties, the MEA admitted that it has imposed new restrictions on medical visas to Pakistani citizens.

“We have suggested that if the Foreign Affairs Adviser of Pakistan issues recommendation letters for patients, we will immediately issue the visa.”

(With PTI inputs)

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India again demands consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage'.   | Photo Credit: PTI

India, on Thursday, demanded consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged spying. This was conveyed by Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Gautam Bambawale to Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua during a meeting sought by him.

On April 19, a meeting between Bambawale and Janjua was rescheduled.

Pakistan has denied India’s request for consular access to 46-year-old Jadhav over a dozen times in the last one year. Pakistan Army has already rejected any chance of granting consular access to Jadhav who was sentenced to death for espionage and subversive activities.

On April 14, Bambawale had met with the Pakistani foreign secretary, showing increasing concern of India about the fate of Jadhav. He told media after his meeting that he had asked for list of charges and authentic copy of verdict of military tribunal against Jadhav to launch appeal against his conviction. He also said that India was seeking consular access on the basis of international law humanitarian grounds.

Pakistan Foreign Office has said that during the period of trial of Jadhav, due judicial process was followed and he was provided a lawyer in accordance with relevant laws and the Constitution of Pakistan. Jadhav was awarded death sentence by the Field General Court Martial earlier this month, evoking a sharp reaction in India which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “pre-meditated murder” was carried out.

Pakistan claims its security forces had arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. It also claimed that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy.” The Pakistan Army had also released a “confessional video” of Jadhav after his arrest.

However, India denied Pakistan’s contention and maintained that Jadhav was kidnapped by the Pakistan authorities. India had acknowledged that Jadhav had served with the navy but denied that he has any connection with the government.

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Jadhav: No breach of pact, says Pak.

Pakistan on Monday rejected India’s assertion that it was violating a bilateral pact by not giving access to retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a military court there.

India has made 15 requests for consular access to 46-year-old Mr. Jadhav, who has been convicted of “espionage and sabotage” by a Pakistan army court.

On the repeated consular requests by India, which has also accused Pakistan of violating the bilateral pact on the issue, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said, “We have a bilateral agreement under which it is clearly said that in matters relating to political and security issues, those cases should be decided on merit.

“So, we have so far taken a decision strictly in accordance with the law of the land and as per the bilateral agreement of 2008 (with India). We have not breached anything,” he said.

Denies charges

Categorically dismissing the charge that Mr. Jadhav was a spy, India has maintained that he was kidnapped by Pakistani authorities from Iran where he had legitimate business interest.

Rejecting India’s stand that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, Mr. Basit said he was caught in Balochistan and tried for “espionage and sabotage”.

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India again seeks consular access to Jadhav

former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage'.  

Islamabad has not informed New Delhi about Jadhav’s physical well being and location

India has made a fifteenth request to Pakistan for consular access to the former Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav.

A spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed that the request for consular access and the process of appeal regarding the case was made on Wednesday, even as he maintained that Pakistan has not informed India about Mr. Jadhav’s physical well being and location.

“We would like to know officially, what are the options in terms of the process of appeals and how that can be exercised [in Pakistan],” said spokesperson Gopal Baglay, revealing the demands that India had communicated to Islamabad during the meeting with the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan in Delhi. However, he maintained that Mr. Jadhav’s health and well being were a cause of worry for India.

‘No information’

“We have no information about where is Kulbhushanji in Pakistan. His health and condition are matters of deep worry for us. Including yesterday, we have sought consular access for fifteen times,” said Mr. Baglay, explaining that the consular meeting is necessary to find out about Mr. Jadhav’s health as it is a normal practice in cases of all bilateral prisoners. Consular access, he said, was necessary also to find out Mr. Jadhav’s opinion as he has been accused of special allegations, that are baseless.

Details of proceedings

“As Pakistan has been claiming of legal proceedings against Mr. Jadhav and we would also like to see what are the details of the proceedings from the Government of Pakistan,” Mr. Baglay said.

This presentation happened a day after Pakistan postponed a meeting between Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale and Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Tehmina Janjua. The meeting was postponed at the last moment after Indian officials held a meeting in Delhi with the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan in Delhi. Sources, however, maintained that the government is currently exploring several options about freeing Mr. Jadhav.

Pakistan’s charges

The MEA downplayed Pakistani allegations that its nationals in Indian custody have been denied of consular access. The spokesperson pointed out that there are many Pakistani prisoners in Indian custody who have committed serious crimes against the Indian state but it is not yet known if Pakistan has availed the option of consular access to them.

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Pakistan army refuses consular access to Jadhav

former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage'.  

The Pakistan army on Monday ruled out consular access to former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, days after India made a strong case for access to him, who is now on death row.

Jadhav, 46, was awarded death sentence by the Field General Court Martial last week, evoking a sharp reaction in India, which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “pre-meditated murder” was carried out.

“Under the law we cannot give consular access to Khulbhushan who was involved in spying,” Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said.

However, Indian officials in New Delhi maintained that there was no communication from Pakistan on denial of consular access.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

The strange case of Kulbhushan Jadhav

“The current cycle of bilateral engagement and acrimony runs from the dramatic visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lahore on Christmas in 2015.” The two leaders on that visit. PTI  

Perhaps the backdrop explains the dynamics at play more than just details of his incarceration

The military trial and summary sentencing to death of Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, with the Indian High Commission denied consular access to him, has plunged India-Pakistan relations into a crisis again. Mr. Jadhav is not the first Indian to be caught and sentenced as a spy by Pakistan, but the first retired middle-level naval officer. The context and background of this need examination.

A diplomatic leap in the dark

The current cycle of bilateral engagement and acrimony runs from the dramatic visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lahore on Christmas in 2015. The occasion was Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s granddaughter’s wedding, but really it was a diplomatic leap in the dark. As in the past, beginning with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Lahore bus journey, theatrical moves rattle anti-India forces in the Pakistani military and jihadi organisations, who then unleash retributive terrorist acts. Within a week of Mr. Modi and Mr. Sharif socialising, the Pathankot airbase was attacked. Tragically, within days of that, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, who headed the Peoples Democratic Party’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, died. The stage was set for instability in the Kashmir Valley.

While Mufti sahib’s daughter Mehbooba Mufti dithered for nearly three months whether or not to succeed her father, the situation in Pakistan was drifting too. Prime Minister Sharif, marginalised by his namesake, the Pakistani Army chief, undermined by the Panama Papers revelations and suffering from heart trouble, left for the U.K. for medical treatment in April 2016. He returned to Pakistan in July. By then, Ms. Mufti had barely been in office when Burhan Wani, a self-styled commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed, inflaming an already restive Valley. From that point onwards, Indo-Pak relations slid downwards.

Kulbhushan Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel was arrested by Pakistan in March 2016, allegedly in Balochistan, for espionage and abetting terror. This was a windfall for Pakistan as since the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the confessions of Pakistan-born American operative David Headley, it had been seeking moral equivalence by alleging complicity of India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), in almost every major attack, particularly by the renegade Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. In fact, the joint statement of Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Yousaf Raza Gilani at Sharm el-Sheikh in 2009 was widely condemned in India for unnecessarily allowing Pakistan to introduce Balochistan in the statement to discuss an alleged Indian hand in the Baloch uprising.

Gaps in stories

There is the usual Indo-Pak disagreement over facts. India claims Mr. Jadhav was conducting business out of Chabahar, Iran, for many years after retiring from the Navy, and that he has been abducted by Pakistani state or non-state actors from within Iran. The fact that despite specific provisions in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, India was denied access to Mr. Jadhav only confirms that Pakistan does not want the truth to be revealed about the place and manner of arrest. India also argues that spies and operatives are not sent carrying their own passports. On the other hand, it is unclear why Mr. Jadhav was operating under a Muslim name, and if he did convert, why the government keeps referring to him by his earlier name. India has not challenged the authenticity of his passport, implying that it was not obtained by fraud or faked by Pakistan. With the debate in India now enveloped in jingoism, such lacunae in stories paraded by both sides are beyond examination.

The truth may never be known, but “Doval-isation” of India’s approach to Pakistan has been obvious for some time. Prime Minister Modi’s espousal of the cause of Balochis and the residents of Gilgit from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15, 2016 only confirmed Pakistani fears that India abets terror and secession in Pakistan. However, recent signals from Pakistan via Track II events were that the new Army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, wanted to reorient his Army’s approach towards India and would endorse the civilian government’s lead in crafting its India policy. He was apparently getting a pushback from entrenched interests raised on India baiting. There were unconfirmed reports that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had spoken to his Pakistani counterpart to acknowledge the signal and create an environment for resuming political contact. Why then did Pakistan change tack and with sudden alacrity, devoid of transparency, sentence Mr. Jadhav?

One trigger could have been the disappearance of an ex-ISI Pakistani military officer in Nepal. Another may be a desire to stoke further unrest in the Kashmir Valley. It could also be some re-balancing between the civilian and military authorities as Prime Minister Sharif awaits court judgement on the Panama Papers charges. At any rate, Pakistan has succeeded in capturing media space and the Indian government’s attention and thus mainstreaming its grouses even as a new U.S. president shapes his foreign policy.

The Indian opposition has adopted a jingoistic pitch to entrap a government mixing politics, religion and nationalism. If assurances in Parliament are that the government will do “all” in its power to rescue Mr. Jadhav, either it is confident of a Cold War-style exchange of spies, provided they have managed to secure the asset that went missing from Nepal, or it is upping the ante hoping that Pakistan will not want to escalate tensions further.

India’s perception of Pakistan

India misperceives Pakistan, as the 19th century French statesman Talleyrand said the world did Russia, as it is neither as strong as it seems nor as weak as we think. For instance, it is not isolated, as policymakers in South Block assume. Pakistan would have seen rising Chinese rhetoric over the Dalai Lama’s visit to Tawang. It also would read U.S. President Donald Trump’s intervention in Syria and the dropping of the ‘mother of all bombs’ in Afghanistan as the U.S. returning to business as usual and restoring the primacy of its Sunni allies, i.e. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, plus the Gulf Cooperation Council, Pakistan, and Egypt. Pakistan is familiar with the generals now ruling the roost after White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon’s fall.

A Sino-Pak alliance now fed by China’s open hostility and not countered by the U.S.’s words of restraint may entrap India into a regional morass. Many assumptions on which the Modi government has functioned in diplomacy are being rewritten. The challenge is to steer India through this maze with more than jingoism, theatre, and domestic electoral needs.

K.C. Singh is a former diplomat.

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Iran’s silence on Jadhav baffling

Kulbhushan Jadhav   | Photo Credit: PTI

While balancing ties with India and Pakistan, Tehran is unhappy over Delhi’s growing ties with GCC

The lack of investigative support from Iran on the Kulbhushan Jadhav case has raised questions about the overall state Tehran-New Delhi security cooperation, say experts. Iran is a strategic partner in India’s outreach to Afghanistan and Central Asia, but its silence on the Kulbhushan case has baffled many.

“Iran has nothing to gain in getting involved in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav and perhaps that is why they have not responded to our request for information on how he was nabbed by Pakistan,” said the former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran.

No response to request

Tehran’s silence became clear when the External Affairs Ministry said it had not responded to India’s request for investigation in the case.

“We have informed the government of Iran last year about this matter. As to the progress of investigation, if they are conducting and where it is, I don’t have any information at this stage,” said Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay. India has maintained that Kulbushan Jadhav had been engaged in “legitimate business” in the Iranian port of Chabahar and was kidnapped by Pakistani agents. However, this part of the Indian narrative can be corroborated only if Iran comes forward with an investigation.

After years of cooperation, the port of Chabahar received more attention during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Tehran last May when both sides signed a trilateral agreement with Kabul to develop the port and connect it with Afghanistan.

Proximity to Saudis

Mr Saran said Iran understands well that its careful balancing of ties between Pakistan and India would be affected if it were to support India with detailed information that would implicate Pakistan or put India in an uncomfortable position.

“Iran always feels that India balances the Arab Gulf countries with Tehran, but the fact is that Iran also balances its ties with Pakistan with its India connections,” Mr. Saran said.

Iran and Pakistan had also clashed over alleged Indian espionage from Chabahar during President Hasan Rouhani’s March 2016 visit to Pakistan.

Pakistan had aired the video of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s alleged confession on disruptive activities in Pakistan during Mr. Rouhani’s visit and linked it to Chabahar, which drew a strong response from Iran’s envoy to Pakistan.

Commentators also believe that Iran is uncomfortable with India’s growing proximity to Saudi Arabia and the UAE and its non-cooperation on the case of Mr. Jadhav is indicative of a larger bilateral problem.

“India’s growing ties with GCC states are naturally viewed by Iran with some concern. India should try to upgrade strategic ties with Iran especially since they have been steady security partners since the late 1980s,” said Parvez Nayeri, an Iranian commentator.

He also pointed out that bilateral energy ties were also not in the best shape because of Iran-India disagreement over the Farzad-B gas field which Iran had promised to India. Following pricing issues over the gas field, India has begun to cut gas imports from Iran.

Mr. Saran said Iran was choosing to be prudent in avoiding the problems over espionage between India and Pakistan, as the benefits of being non-cooperative far outweigh the gains.

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Pak. readies dossier on Kulbhushan Jadhav

Pakistan has prepared a new dossier on alleged militant activities of Kulbhushan Jadhav and will share it with the UN and foreign envoys stationed here, media reports say.

The new dossier is based on Jadhav’s early testimony and statements given in front of the Field General Court Martial about his alleged involvement in espionage and sabotage activities in Karachi and Balochistan, reports said.

The document contains the attested report of Court Martial General, as well as the court proceedings timeline.

Jadhav (46) was tried through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and was awarded the death sentence. Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed the death sentence last week.

Pakistan claims its security forces had arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. It also claimed that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy.”

The Pakistan Army had also released a “confessional video” of Jadhav after his arrest.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Kulbhushan Jadhav: Indian ‘agent’ in Pakistan

former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage'.  

Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, now condemned to death by a Pakistani military court martial, had an uneventful childhood, as a police officer’s son growing up in the N.M. Joshi Marg police colony in Mumbai. He was more inclined towards sports than studies, say his friends, and eventually got into the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla in Pune, and became a naval officer. Those who have known him from his Navy days say there wasn’t anything remarkable about him.

What is he accused of?

The ordinariness of Jadhav’s life ended in March last year when the Pakistan authorities arrested him, on charges of being an Indian spy carrying out terrorist attacks in Balochistan, targeting Pakistan-China interests. Jadhav burst onto the national and international limelight a few weeks later, when Pakistan announced the arrest of an alleged Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) spy in the restive Balochistan province, at a press conference in Islamabad.

Officials released a spliced and edited CD in which Jadhav is seen “confessing” to having been a spy for more than a decade. “I commenced intelligence operation in 2003 and established a small business in Chabahar in Iran as I was able to achieve undetected existence and visits to Karachi in 2003 and 2004,” he says in the video.

Jadhav said he was recruited by RAW in 2013 and he had since been directing various activities in Balochistan and Karachi at the behest of the Indian intelligence agency, with a view to engaging Baloch separatists to target infrastructure work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. “These activities have been of criminal nature, leading to killing of or maiming of Pakistani citizens,” he said.

How was he captured?

According to the Pakistani CD, Jadhav said he was trying to cross over into Pakistan from the Saravan border in Iran on March 3, 2016, when he was captured by Pakistani authorities. The Pakistani Army claims he used an Indian passport under an assumed name, Hussein Mubarak Patel, which stated that he belonged to Sangli.

What is India’s reaction?

While the Indian authorities accepted that Jadhav was a former Navy officer, the government has denied allegations that he is a spy. Jadhav, who retired from the Navy in 2001, established a small business in the Chabahar Free Trade Zone in Iran, where he reportedly operated a mechanised dhow named Kaminda, and the government believes he was kidnapped in Iran and brought forcibly into Pakistan to try and implicate India with allegations of espionage and terrorism.

It is particularly significant that Jadhav’s arrest was announced even as Pakistani investigating officials were being shown evidence of the attack on the Pathankot airbase in India.

How will it affect ties?

This is the latest flashpoint in the long and embittered saga of India-Pakistan ties. On April 10, the Pakistan Army announced that a Field General Court Martial had sentenced Jadhav to death, after three-and-a-half months of trial.

The sentence was confirmed by Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. Many in Pakistan were taken by surprise, and according to a widely believed theory, the intelligence agencies in Pakistan wanted to pre-empt the announcement by Indian agencies of the capture of a high-level ISI spy last seen in Lumbini, Nepal, earlier this month.

What next for Jadhav?

The government says it won’t spare any effort to secure the life of Jadhav, who is innocent, but admits that it has no knowledge of where he is being held, nor has it received any information from Iran on how he may have been spirited there.

On Friday, India again sought consular access to Jadhav in Pakistan, which has rejected 13 earlier requests. India has also rejected Pakistan’s demand that it accept Jadhav was a spy and cooperate in the investigation in return for consular access to him, and has warned that Pakistan’s refusal to accord access is in contravention of international law. “Under these circumstances, we have no choice but to regard the sentence, if carried out, as an act of pre-meditated murder,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj warned in Parliament.

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Amid row over Jadhav, India cancels maritime talks with Pak

The snowballing crisis over Pakistan delivering the death penalty to arrested former navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav, has hit the bilateral talks between the coast guards of India and Pakistan. A coastal security source confirmed that the talks that were scheduled for 17 April has been cancelled, even though the Ministry of External Affairs has not issued a statement on the matter.

“The high level meeting scheduled for 17 April between Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) has been cancelled,” said an official source of the ICG to The Hindu on Saturday explaining that the decision to cancel the meeting was taken on Friday by officials. The talks were expected to deal with the issue of fishermen, captured boats and issues like smuggling.

This is the first indication of cancellation of official-level interactions between India and Pakistan since the death sentence was issued to Mr. Jadhav earlier this week. It is likely that more steps could follow based on Pakistan’s response to India’s latest request for consular access for Mr Jadhav.

No response on consular access so far

Pakistan has not reverted responding to the latest request for consular access that was conveyed to them on Friday by India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan.

“As far as we are concerned, we have asked for 14th time yesterday for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav and there has been no reply yet,” said a diplomatic source.

The diplomatic answer came in the backdrop of media reports that Pakistan had already declined Friday’s request for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav.

 

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India to appeal against Jadhav’s death sentence, seeks consular access again

Ex-servicemen protest outside Pakistan High Commission, demanding release of former Indian naval commander Kulbhushan Jadhav. in New Delhi.  

India to explore legal remedies permitted under Pakistan legal system

India on Friday sought consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, the retired Navy officer who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of spying, and demanded a certified copy of the charge sheet as well as the judgment.

“We have stated that he [Mr. Jadhav] is an Indian national and as per international law and humanitarian considerations, let us at least have consular access to him,” Gautam Bambawale, Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad, told reporters here after a meeting with Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.

Verdict copy demanded

“We would definitely go in appeal against the judgment but we cannot do it unless we have the details of the charges and the copy of the verdict. So, my first demand was to provide us the details of the charge sheet and the copy of the verdict,” he said.

Pakistan, he said, has so far denied 13 times India’s request for consular access.

After Mr. Bambawale’s meeting with the Foreign Secretary, Pakistan defended the trial of Mr. Jadhav and said he could appeal against the verdict.

“Due process has been followed while proceeding against him. All further action in this regard shall also be taken in accordance with our laws,” Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, told reporters at the Foreign Office here.

Mr. Jadhav can appeal within 40 days to an appellate court, or may lodge a mercy petition to the Army Chief within 60 days of the decision by the appellate court.

If the Army Chief rejects the plea, he can file another with the President in 90 days, Mr. Aziz added.

Defending Pakistan’s position on consular access, he said India had not provided the facility to many Pakistani prisoners in the past despite repeated requests.

“We expect India to behave responsibly and refrain from issuing statements that will further aggravate people-to-people hostility.”

“More active diplomacy is therefore needed to arrest the growing crises in India-Pakistan relations before it becomes even more serious,” said Mr. Aziz.

He said Mr. Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016 when he was operating under a pseudonym Mubarak Patel.

“Kulbhushan Jadhav was found in possession of a passport issued by the Government of India on May 12, 2015 and valid until May 11, 2024. Jadhav confessed that he is a resident of Mumbai, India, still serving in the Indian Navy and his retirement is due in 2022.”

According to Mr. Aziz, Mr. Jadhav was tried by Field General Court Martial under section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act 1952 and Section 3 of Official Secret Act of 1923 and he was provided with a legal counsel in accordance with provisions of the law of the land.

Mr. Aziz said the proceedings of this case went through different stages over a period of one year. Mr. Jadhav’s confessional video statement was taken on March 25, 2016, the initial FIR was registered in Quetta, Balochistan, on April 8 and initial interrogation was conducted on May 2. Detailed interrogation was held on May 22 and a joint investigation team was set up on July 12, he explained.

Mr. Aziz said all statements of witnesses were recorded under oath and in the presence of the accused.

India has rejected the espionage charges levelled against Mr. Jadhav and said that if the death sentence is carried out, New Delhi would consider it as a premeditated murder.

“More active diplomacy is therefore needed to arrest the growing crises in India-Pakistan relations before it becomes even more serious,” said Mr. Aziz.

He said Mr. Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016 when he was operating under a pseudonym Mubarak Patel.

“Kulbhushan Jadhav was found in possession of a passport issued by the Government of India on May 12, 2015 and valid until May 11, 2024. Jadhav confessed that he is a resident of Mumbai, India, still serving in the Indian Navy and his retirement is due in 2022.”

According to Mr. Aziz, Mr. Jadhav was tried by Field General Court Martial under section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act 1952 and Section 3 of Official Secret Act of 1923 and he was provided with a legal counsel in accordance with provisions of the law of the land.

Mr. Aziz said the proceedings of this case went through different stages over a period of one year. Mr. Jadhav’s confessional video statement was taken on March 25, 2016, the initial FIR was registered in Quetta, Balochistan, on April 8 and initial interrogation was conducted on May 2. Detailed interrogation was held on May 22 and a joint investigation team was set up on July 12, he explained.

Mr. Aziz said all statements of witnesses were recorded under oath and in the presence of the accused.

India has rejected the espionage charges levelled against Mr. Jadhav and said that if the death sentence is carried out, New Delhi would consider it as a premeditated murder.

Lawyers told not to accept Jadhav’s case

The Lahore High Court Bar Association said on Friday that it would act against any lawyer who extended services to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court.

“The Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHBA) has unanimously decided to cancel the membership of any lawyer who offers his services to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav,” LHBA secretary-general Amer Saeed Raan said.

He said the bar had asked the government not to yield to any foreign pressure. “India has declared Jadhav its son and is putting pressure on the Pakistani government for his release. We demand that the Indian spy, who is involved in playing with the lives of Pakistanis, not be spared and the government ensure his hanging,” he said.

Earlier, Pakistan’s top military commanders made it clear that “no compromise” shall be made on such “anti-state acts.”

(With inputs from PTI)

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Indian envoy to meet Pak’s Foreign Secretary on Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case

A differently-abled person participates in a signature campaign against the death sentence to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistani military court, in Nagpur.   | Photo Credit: S. Sudarshan

India will also explore legal remedies permitted under Pakistan legal system including Mr. Jadhav’s family appealing against the verdict.

Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Gautam Bambawale will be meeting Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua in connection with the case of retired Indian navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been given death sentence by an army court there.

According to sources, Mr. Bambawale is expected to raise the issue of consular access to Mr. Jadhav as Pakistan has rejected 13 of India’s requests for the same in the last one year.

Apart from diplomatic options, India will also explore legal remedies permitted under Pakistan legal system including Mr. Jadhav’s family appealing against the verdict.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav issue: No compromise, says Pakistan

Alleged Indian spy Kulbushan Yadav during a press conference in Islamabad in this March 29, 2016 photo.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Jadhav episode “an irrefutable proof of the Indian state’s involvement in terrorism, subversion and terror financing in Pakistan”, says the country's Foreign Office.

Pakistan’s military on Thursday said there would not be any compromise on the death sentence given to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav for espionage and sabotage.

The top commanders of the military met on Thursday at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. They were briefed about Mr. Jadhav and it was concluded that “no compromise shall be made on such anti-state acts”, according to a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing.

The statement comes amid intense speculation in Islamabad about a possible swap of Mr. Jadhav with a retired Pakistani Colonel who disappeared on the Nepal-India border. Lt. Col. (Retd) Habib Zahir’s family believed that he might have been trapped by the Indian intelligence agencies.

Earlier, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakariya said the Jadhav episode was “an irrefutable proof of the Indian state’s involvement in terrorism, subversion and terror financing in Pakistan”. At a news briefing, he said Mr. Jadhav had made repeated confessions.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav's sentence: Like the LaGrand brothers

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s options at the ICJ in The Hague

Brothers Karl and Walter LaGrand, German nationals permanently residing in the U.S., were arrested in 1982 in Arizona for an attempted bank robbery. The bank manager was killed and an employee seriously injured. In 1984, they were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.

The LaGrands being German nationals, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 requires the competent U.S. authorities to inform them of their right to communicate with the German consulate.

Article 36 of the Convention allowed consular officers the right to access, converse and correspond with nationals in prison, custody or detention and arrange private legal representation — a lawyer of the nationals’ own choice — to defend them during trial. None of this occurred in the case of the LaGrands. In fact, the German consulate knew of their predicament only in 1992 after the siblings reached out to it.

Germany brought the LaGrand case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague against the U.S. for breach of Article 36 of the Convention barely a week after Karl was executed on February 24, 1999. The ICJ issued an order of injunction to prevent Walter from being executed. But on March 3, Walter too was executed.

Closer home, Pakistan and India have accepted the Vienna Convention of 1963. News reports from Pakistan suggest that Pakistani authorities “repeatedly refused” Indian consular officers access to the former Navy personnel, Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been found guilty by a military court of espionage activities.

India can move the ICJ for an immediate injunction against Mr. Jadhav’s death sentence. It can present a case against Pakistan for breach of the rights of Mr. Jadhav under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention by depriving Indian consular officers of the possibility to render him assistance.

India can seek a “review and re-consideration” of the conviction and death sentence awarded to Mr. Jadhav in the light of the rights set forth by Article 36. A pending case in the ICJ would deter Pakistan from executing Mr. Jadhav before the final decision of the ICJ. Further, it may prevent something like this from happening in the future on the part of either country.

The LaGrand case saw the U.S. undertake a “commitment” to ensure implementation of specific measures adopted in the performance of its obligations under Article 36 in case a foreign national is taken into custody, detained or imprisoned. A similar ‘commitment’ can be extracted from Pakistan before the ICJ if Mr. Jadhav’s case is taken there.

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Many options to save Jadhav

Diplomats suggest that India not rush into negotiations but show tact

India should not rush into negotiations with Pakistan to free the former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been awarded the death sentence by Pakistan, veteran diplomats said on Wednesday. They said India had several bilateral and multilateral options to free Mr. Jadhav, who was accused of sabotage and tried in a military court.

“One option before India is to ask [U.S.] President Trump to prevail upon the Pakistan military to release Mr. Jadhav. It is highly unlikely that any request to shift Mr. Jadhav to a civil court would work,” said Chinmaya Gharekhan, who has worked in conflict situations and had been a special envoy of the government.

Mr. Gharekhan said Mr. Jadhav’s case was unique in the history of India-Pakistan hostility and was reminiscent of a Cold War spy drama.

“The other option is to exchange Mr. Jadhav with a Pakistani intelligence official, who, according to some reports, was captured by the Indian agencies from India-Nepal border. If the report of arrest of the Pakistani official is correct, then the government may consider exchanging him with Mr. Jadhav,” said Mr. Gharekhan. Reports have suggested that Lt. Col. Muhammad Habib Zahir, a former ISI official, who reportedly conducted anti-India activities on the India-Nepal border, was arrested by India some time ago.

Peculiar case

Some diplomats have recommended that India should not hurry in responding to this move by Pakistan as the case is peculiar. “What makes this case particularly peculiar is that a foreign national has been court-martialled and the grounds on which he was court-martialled is not at all clear,” said TCA Raghavan, former High Commissioner of India to Islamabad.

He said there were many instances when individuals suspected of being spies were given the death sentence in the usual courts of law in Pakistan and therefore the issue was why a normal legal process was avoided in this case.

Diplomats also said that India woud have to deliberate upon what kind of response would be befitting if Pakistan executed Mr. Jadhav.

“Even long-standing bilateral agreements could come up for reversal, if Pakistan executes Jadhav,” said a diplomat, who urged that officials should not issue belligerent statements at this moment as such statements cannot do any good.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Kulbushan Jadhav death sentence: Risky, ill-considered

Pakistan’s announcement on Kulbhushan Jadhav threatens to escalate bilateral tensions

Pakistan’s sudden announcement on Monday that former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav has been sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial is a development fraught with danger. It could lead to a rapid escalation in bilateral tensions that the region can ill afford. The trial, sentencing, and its confirmation by the Pakistan Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, were carried out so secretly that the news took many in Pakistan as well by surprise. There are glaring holes in the procedures followed by Pakistan’s government and military in the investigation and trial of Mr. Jadhav. His recorded confession that was broadcast at a press conference within weeks of his arrest in March 2016 appeared to have been spliced. At various points in the tape, and in the transcript of the confession made available, Mr. Jadhav contradicts his own statements, suggesting that he had been tutored. Even if the confession was admissible in a court of law, little by way of corroborative evidence has been offered by Pakistan to back up the claim that Mr. Jadhav, who was allegedly arrested in Balochistan last year, had been plotting operations against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s statement in Parliament detailing 13 requests by the government for consular access, and replies from the Pakistan government that made the access conditional on India cooperating in the investigation, further casts the procedures followed in a rather poor light. International human rights agencies too have criticised them. Mr. Jadhav must be allowed a retrial, preferably in a civil court and with recourse to appeal.

 

New Delhi must step up its responses in the matter, as it seems to have kept it on the backburner, confining itself to fruitless, repeated representations. India must also pursue the issue with Iran, where Mr. Jadhav is believed to have been based for more than a decade, and investigate how he was brought, by force or otherwise, into Pakistan. The timing of the announcement of the death sentence is also being seen in a spy versus spy context, with the recent disappearance of a former Pakistan Army officer in Nepal. These are matters best left to security agencies at the highest level, but the questions around Mr. Jadhav’s arrest need to be dispelled. Moreover, this escalation highlights the consequences of the breakdown in the India-Pakistan dialogue process, limiting the channels of communication between the two governments to sort out matters in a sober manner. The government has stood fast on its decision to not hold bilateral talks after the Pathankot attack in January 2016, but this policy is hardly likely to bring the desired results when a man’s life hangs in the balance. The Jadhav case requires a proactive three-pronged response from India: impressing on Pakistan that the death sentence must not be carried out, explaining to the international community the flawed trial process, and sending interlocutors to open backchannels for diplomacy for Mr. Jadhav’s safe return home.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Nepal link to Jadhav verdict?

File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Missing former Pakistani army officer's family and friends have told Pakistani media that they suspect that he was kidnapped by Indian agencies in Nepal.

Questions over a possible link between a former Pakistani army officer who went missing in Nepal last week and the sentencing of former Indian naval Commander Kulbushan Jadhav by a Pakistani army court to death arose as details emerged of the two incidents.

Lt. Col. (retd.) Muhammad Habib Zahir landed in Kathmandu on Thursday last, purportedly looking for a job, and since then he has been missing.

His family and friends have told Pakistani media that they suspect that he was kidnapped by Indian agencies.

Counter move

While there is no indication from any Indian sources about a link between Lt. Col. Zahir’s disappearance and Indian agencies, speculation has intensified since the award of the death sentence to Jadhav.

Indian officials viewed the Pakistani move to publicise Jadhav's death penalty as a pre-emptive measure in case India were to disclose that it had Lt. Col. Zahir in its custody.

“Timing is important. They think that their missing officer is in Indian custody. By announcing the death sentence to Jadhav they think they have pre-empted an Indian disclosure, and believe that now if India were to make any move on that front, it could be projected as a retaliation,” an official source told The Hindu.

At least two sources who had personally known Jadhav when he was in the Navy said it [a link between Lt. Col. Zahir and Jadhav’s sentencing] was a hopeful sign. “If that is so then [we] can hope that he would be back home one day,” one of them said.

Job offer

An FIR registered by Lt. Col. Zahir’s son, Saad Habib, claimed that he was received by a man named Javaid Ansari at the Kathmandu airport on April 6. Since then he has not contacted his family, who have claimed that he received an interview call from a U.K. telephone number generated via the Internet. He also received an email from career@startsolutions.biz.

Lt. Col. Zahir, who reportedly retired from the army in 2014, has also worked with the United Nation’s peace mission for two years, Pakistani media said. He then joined a Pakistani food company and was looking for other job offers.

According to Pakistan media reports, he was contacted by a man named Mark Thompson, who offered him a job at an international company StartSolution.biz, and called him for an interview to Nepal.

Initial probe

Saad said the initial probe by the family and friends revealed that the British telephone number from which the officer got the job offer was computer generated and the email domain and its associated website were registered in India.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Jadhav has 60 days to appeal before President: Pak. Defence Minister

Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif  

Will not allow anyone to work against the security and the stability of the country, says Khawaja Asif

Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday said former Indian naval officer Kulbushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a military court for alleged involvement in espionage, can appeal before the Army chief and the President in 60 days and that the country would follow the legal course in the case.

Speaking in the Senate, the upper house of Parliament, he criticised India's response to Jadhav’s conviction. “All I want to say is that we have followed all the rules and regulations, and the laws of the land. Instead.” 

Pakistan would not allow anyone to work against the security and the stability of the country. “The government of Pakistan is in a position to deal with all such elements with an iron fist,” he said.

 

India on Monday responded strongly to the death sentence by summoning the Pakistani High Commissioner in Delhi and issuing a protest note, which stated that if Jadhav is executed, India would regard it “as a case of premeditated murder”.    

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan’s armed forces were fully capable and prepared to respond to any spectrum of threat. “The nation has full trust in the country’s armed forces,” he said, assuring the forces have the government’s full support in equipping them to address the modern day challenges.

Addressing the passing out parade at Pakistan Air Force Academy (PAF) Asghar Khan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Mr. Sharif said Pakistan wants friendly relationship with all its neighbours. Cooperation, rather than conflict and shared prosperity rather than mutual suspicion is the hallmark of Pakistan’s policy, he added.

“Pakistan is a peace loving country and has always maintained the policy of having friendly relations with other countries particularly its neighbours.” 

The Prime Minister said Pakistan on its part would never hesitate to extend the hand of friendship to all and would never waver from returning goodwill with even more goodwill. However, “despite our desire for peaceful coexistence, we cannot remain oblivious to defending our sovereignty and protecting our independence”.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Legality of death award for Jadhav questionable, say intelligence sources

A passport (No. L9630722), purportedly belonging to Kulbhushan Jadhav, showed his assumed name as ‘Hussein Mubarak Patel’.  

Jadhav has been sentenced under controversial amendments to the Army Act, say Indian officials.

Several observers and intelligence sources have questioned the legality of the Pakistan Army’s court martial and award of the death sentence to former Indian naval Commander Kulbushan Jadhav.

According to an official Pakistan statement, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed the death sentence.

Diplomatic challenge

“I think it can be challenged diplomatically,” a former intelligence chief said.

Indian officials believe that Jadhav has been sentenced under the controversial amendments to the Army Act introduced two years ago, which allows civilians to be tried under terrorism charges secretly in army courts. In the past two years, under the provision, 160 people have been sentenced to death.

“It is legally not a very tenable thing. How could they apply the same provision to an unarmed foreigner whose identity is known?” another officer said.

‘First instance’

“I can’t recall another instance of an army general court martial sentencing an Indian like this,” a retired intelligence officer said. “We have had Pakistani civil courts sentencing Indians accused of spying,” he said.

Another retired official speculated that the Pakistani court martial proceedings would not only name R&AW (Research & Analysis Wing) but some of its officials. “It is not good news for us,” he said.

“As far as we are concerned, he is a veteran who retired about 15 years ago. Beyond that we do not know anything,” a senior naval officer said.

Jadhav joined the National Defence Academy in 1987 and was commissioned into the Navy in 1991.

According to the Navy, he retired from service in December 2001.

The award of the death sentence to Jadhav has been received with much disbelief by his former naval colleagues and intelligence circles, though most of them were confident that he would be back home.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

In protest against death for Jadhav, India not to release 12 Pakistan prisoners

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar issued a strongly-worded demarche to the Pakistan High Commissioner to India   | Photo Credit: AP

They were to be repatriated this week.

Angered by Pakistan’s decision to award the death sentence to Kulbushan Jadhav, a top government official said on Monday that India would stall the release of 12 Pakistani prisoners, who were to be repatriated this week.

India took the decision after Pakistan army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa approved the death sentence for Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016, allegedly in Balochistan for alleged "espionage and sabotage" activities.

The repatriation of Pakistani prisoners who had completed their sentences has been in practice since 2008 when India and Pakistan signed a joint agreement. Since May 2014, when the NDA government came to power, around 80 Pakistani prisoners were deported after serving their sentences.

“It is not the right time for the release of Pakistani prisoners. We are planning harsher steps to protest the death sentence to Jadhav,” said the official.

The death sentence to Jadhav, 46, was confirmed by the Pakistan army chief after the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) found him guilty of "all the charges", as stated by the military's media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), in Rawalpindi.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar summoned the Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and issued a strongly worded demarche.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav?

A passport (No. L9630722), purportedly belonging to Kulbhushan Jadhav, shows his assumed name as ‘Hussein Mubarak Patel’.  

Kulbhushan Jadhav was allegedly arrested in the Chaman area of Balochistan on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on March 3, 2016.

Pakistan said he was a serving Indian naval officer and accused him of working for India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Pakistan also produced a passport (No. L9630722), purportedly belonging to him, which showed his assumed name as ‘Hussein Mubarak Patel’, born in Sangli, Maharashtra, and living in Powai, as well as a valid Iranian visa in his name.

India denied that he had any links to its government but said that he was running a business in the Iranian port city of Chabahar after a “premature retirement” from the Navy. India was denied consular access to him.

The Ministry of External Affairs said he was facing “harassment” and had probably been kidnapped from Iran. 

There were some reports that the Taliban had sold him off to Pakistan. 

On March 29, 2016, Jadhav was seen in a video saying he was a RAW official. In the video, played at a press conference of the Inter Services Public Relations of the Pakistan military, he said he left the Navy to join RAW in 2013 and went to Chabahar to set up a business outlet there to carry out “operations” in Balochistan and Karachi.

Pakistan has protested several times over what it calls India's support to Baloch national groups, waging an insurgency in Pakistan. India has denied the charge, but this was the first time that Pakistan alleged it has arrested a serving officer of RAW.

Jadhav's death sentence was approved by Pakistan’s Army chief on Monday.

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Full text of Kulbhushan Jadhav's alleged confession

Following is the full text of Kulbhushan Jadhav's  alleged confession as shown at a press conference.

This press conference was jointly addressed by Pakistan's Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid and Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa at the Press Information Department earlier.

“My name is Commander Kulbhushan Yadav and I am the serving officer of Indian Navy. I am from the cadre of engineering department of Indian Navy and my cover name was Hussein Mubarik Patel, which I had taken for doing some intelligence gathering for Indian agencies.

“I joined the National Defence Academy in 1987 and subsequently joined Indian Navy in Jan 1991 and subsequently served for the Indian Navy till around December 2001 when the Parliament attack occurred and that is when I started contributing my services towards gathering of information and intelligence within India.

“I live in the city of Mumbai in India. I am still the serving officer in the Indian Navy and will be due for retirement by 2022 as a commissioned officer in Indian Navy after having completed 14 years of service by 2002.

“I commenced intelligence operation in 2003 and established a small business in Chabahar in Iran as I was able to achieve undetected existence and visits to Karachi in 2003 and 2004 and having done some basic assignments within India for RAW.

“I was picked up by RAW in 2013 end. Ever since I have been directing various activities in Balochistan and Karachi at the behest of RAW and deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi, I was basically the man for Mr. Anil Kumar Gupta who is the joint secretary of RAW and his contacts in Pakistan especially in Balochistan Student Organisation.

“My purpose was to hold meetings with Baloch insurgents and carry out activities with their collaboration.“These activities have been of criminal nature, leading to killing of or maiming of Pakistani citizens.

“I realise during this process that RAW is involved in some activities related to the Baloch liberation movement within Pakistan and the region around it.

“There are finances which are fed into the Baloch movement through various contacts or various ways and means into the Baloch liberation (movement) and various activities of the Baloch liberation and RAW handlers go towards activities which are criminal, which are anti-national, which can lead to maiming or killing of people within Pakistan and mostly these activities were centred around of what I have knowledge is of ports of Gwadar, Pasni Jewani and various other installations, which are around the coast damaging various other installations, which are in Balochistan.

“So the activity seems to be revolving and trying to create a criminal sort of mindset within the Baloch liberation which leads to instability within Pakistan. In my pursuit towards achieving the set targets by my handlers in RAW, I was trying to cross over into Pakistan from the Saravan border in Iran on March 3, 2016, and was apprehended by Pakistani authorities while on the Pakistani side and the main aim of this crossing over into Pakistan was to hold (a) meeting with Baloch separatists in Balochistan for carrying out various activities, which they were supposed to undertake and carrying backwards the messages which had to deliver to Indian agencies.

“The main issues regarding this were that they were planning to conduct some operations within the next immediate (near) future so that was to be discussed mainly and that was the main aim of trying to coming into Pakistan.

“So that moment I realised that my intelligence operations have been compromised on my being detained in Pakistan, I revealed that I am an Indian naval officer, and it is on mentioning that I am Indian naval officer, the total perception of the establishment of the Pakistani side changed and they treated me very honourably and they did utmost respect and due regards and have handled me subsequently on a more professional and proper courteous way and they have handled me in a way that befits that of an officer and once I realised that I have been compromised in my process of intelligence operations, I decided to just end the mess I have landed myself in and just wanted to subsequently move on and cooperate with the authorities in removing complications which I have landed myself and my family members into, and whatever I am stating just now, it is the truth and it is not under any duress or pressure. I am doing it totally out of my own desire to mention and come clean out of this entire process which I have gone through last 14 years.”

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Parliament unites to save Jadhav

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj makes a statement on Kulbhushan Jhadav, an Indian sentenced to death by Pakistan military court.  

Sushma Swaraj warns Pakistan of consequences, seeks Congress help to draft resolution

Accusing Pakistan of trying to cast aspersions on India to deflect attention from its role as a global sponsor of terror, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told Parliament on Tuesday that India would spare no effort to save Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Naval officer awarded the death sentence by a military court in Pakistan for espionage and sabotage.

After speaking in the Lok Sabha, Ms. Swaraj walked up to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, requesting him to help draft the resolution to be adopted by both Houses of Parliament, in what was seen as a signal of unity on the matter.

After seeking permission from his party’s leader, Mr. Tharoor readily agreed. “This is a matter that affects us all,” he later told NDTV.

In her statement to Parliament that asserted the charges against Mr. Jadhav were concocted, Ms. Swaraj said he had been kidnapped from Iran. India was denied consular access to him despite several requests, which showed that the case against him was weak, she said.

“Earlier this year, the Pakistan government sought our assistance to obtain evidence and other materials for the investigation process. In doing so, they levelled ridiculous charges against senior Indian officials, who had no connection to this issue. Thereafter, they linked providing consular access to our acceptance of their position,” she said.

Consular access denied

“Nevertheless, in the hope that some forward movement could be made, our response was constructive. We pointed out that consular access to Shri Jadhav would be an essential pre-requisite in order to verify the facts and understand the circumstances of his presence in Pakistan.”

Asserting that there would be consequences on the bilateral relationship if Pakistan were to proceed on the matter, Ms. Swaraj said: “There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Shri Jadhav. If anything, he is the victim of a plan that seeks to cast aspersions on India to deflect international attention from Pakistan’s well-known record of sponsoring and supporting terrorism. Under these circumstances, we have no choice but to regard the sentence, if carried out, as an act of pre-meditated murder.”

To a suggestion made by the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Minister said the government would ensure that Mr. Jadhav was provided the best of lawyers in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and take up the matter at the level of the President of Pakistan too.

“Whatever is necessary, we will do,” she said, adding that Mr. Jadhav was “not only the son of his parents, but is the son of India.”

Earlier in the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government would do everything possible to get justice for Mr. Jadhav.

“The government strongly condemns it. All norms of law and justice were ignored,” he said.

Stating that Pakistan had told the media there that Mr. Jadhav carried a valid Indian passport, the Home Minister wondered why a spy would carry a valid passport. It exposed Pakistan’s lies, he said. He also criticised the Pakistan government for not allowing consular access to Mr. Jadhav despite 13 attempts. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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Pakistan sentences former Indian naval officer to death

Members of the Pakistan media watch a projection of a video showing arrested man Kulbhushan Yadav -- suspected of being an Indian spy -- during a press conference in Islamabad in this March 29, 2016 photo.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Kulbushan Jadhav sentenced for espionage and sabotage activities, says military spokesperson.

A Pakistani military court on Monday sentenced to death a former Indian Navy official, Kulbhushan Jadhav, accusing him of espionage and working for the India’s external intelligence agency, R&AW.

The sentencing of Mr. Jadhav (46), was confirmed by army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa after the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) found him guilty of “all the charges”, said the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

 

Indian embassy officials have been repeatedly refused access to Mr. Jadhav throughout the trial process.

Mr Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan on March 3 last year, with Pakistani authorities alleging that he was involved in subversive activities in the province.

Announcing the order, military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet: “Indian RAW Agent Kulbhushan awarded death sentence through Court Marshal by Pakistan Army for for espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan”.

 

Limited right to appeal

The ISPR statement also said the accused was provided with defending officer as per legal process. However, the specific charges were never made public.

 

Lawyers familiar with the Army Act trials said there is very limited right of appeal available to the accused. They said the accused cannot challenge the charges but only the jurisdiction. The appeals will also be heard by military officials but of higher rank.

However, since Army Chief General Bajwa has already confirmed the sentence, there is little chance of relief for Mr. Jadhav, sources said.

The ISPR release that followed Major Ghafoor’s tweet, stated that Indian Raw Agent/Naval Officer Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav alias Hussain Mubarak Patel was arrested on March 3, 2016 through a counter intelligence operation from Mashkel, Balochistan for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan.

However, since Army Chief General Bajwa has already confirmed the sentence, there is little chance of relief for Mr Jadhav, sources said.

 

Pakistan military claimed Mr. Jadhav had confessed before a magistrate that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and and organise espionage/sabotage activities.

The ISPR release that followed Major Ghafoor’s tweet, stated that Indian Raw Agent/Naval Officer Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav alias Hussain Mubarak Patel was arrested on March 3, 2016 through a counter intelligence operation from Mashkel, Balochistan for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan.

The activities were aimed at de-stabilising and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of law enforcement agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.

The arrest of Mr. Jadhav was followed by intense diplomatic activity by Pakistan in terms of preparing dossiers for the United Nations alleging that India was trying to fuel insurgency in Baluchistan province.

Former Pakistan army chief General Raheel Sharif also met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on his visit to Pakistan last year and expressed concern that RAW was using the soil of Iran to create unrest in Baluchistan and urged the Iranian President to ask India to stop such activities. Tehran agreed to allay Pakistan's concern.

Following the summoning of Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit in Delhi, the Foreign Office held a consultative meeting in Islamabad.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Aziz admits ‘insufficient evidence’ on Kulbushan Jadhav

Members of the Pakistan media watch a projection of a video showing arrested man Kulbhushan Yadav -- suspected of being an Indian spy -- during a press conference in Islamabad in this March 29, 2016 photo. Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday admitted that the government was presented with only “insufficient evidence” on Yadav, who is under detention.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Says dossier on the Indian contained mere statements sans conclusive proof.

Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday admitted that the government was presented with only “insufficient evidence” on alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav who is under detention.

Addressing a full Senate chamber, Mr. Aziz said the dossier on Jadhav contained mere statements. “It did not have any conclusive evidence,” he was quoted as saying by the Geo TV.

“What the dossier contained was not enough. Now it is up to the concerned authorities, how long they take to give us more matter on the agent,” Aziz said.

Mr. Jadhav, who was reportedly arrested in Balochistan after he entered from Iran, has been accused by Pakistan of planning “subversive activities” in the country.

‘Confessional video’

The Pakistan Army had also released a “confessional video” of Mr. Jadhav, who said he was the serving Indian Navy officer.

India has acknowledged Mr. Jadhav as a retired Indian Navy officer, but denied the allegation that he was in any way connected to the government.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Arab envoys briefed on arrest of ‘spy’

A passport (No. L9630722), purportedly belonging to Kulbhushan Jadhav, showed his assumed name as ‘Hussein Mubarak Patel’.  

Pakistan on Friday said it had briefed envoys of the Arab and ASEAN countries on the arrest of an alleged Indian ‘spy.’

The Pakistan Foreign Office issued a statement saying that the envoys, based in Islamabad, were briefed on the arrest of “RAW [Research and Analysis Wing] Officer” Kulbhushan Jadhav and his alleged “confession about India-sponsored subversive activities and terror financing to destabilise Pakistan.”

“It was emphasised that to achieve regional peace and stability, it was imperative that India immediately stops its interference in Pakistan and resolves all contentious issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, through sustained dialogue,” the statement said.

The briefing comes days after Jadhav was reportedly charged with terrorism and sabotage in an FIR filed by the provincial Balochistan government.

The Pakistan Army had also released a “confessional video” of Jadhav, who said he was a serving Indian Navy officer.

India acknowledged that he was a retired Navy officer, but denied that he was in any way connected to the government.

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Pak. summons envoy on ‘spy’ arrest, India rejects claims

A passport (No. L9630722), purportedly belonging to Kulbhushan Jadhav, showed his assumed name as ‘Hussein Mubarak Patel’.  

Pakistan had accused India of stoking violence in Balochistan and Karachi in the past but it is for the first time that it has claimed arresting a RAW officer.

India on Friday rejected Pakistan’s claims that it had arrested a serving naval officer in Balochistan for what it called “subversive activities”. In a statement, the Ministry of External affairs however, admitted that the man believed to be arrested was a former officer of the navy.

“The said individual has no link with Government since his premature retirement from Indian Navy,” said the MEA statement, adding that India has now sought consular access to him. The government also denied the Pakistani claim that the former officer was spying, saying that “India has no interest in interfering in internal matters of any country and firmly believes that a stable and peaceful Pakistan is in the interest of all in the region.”

According to documents released by Military intelligence sources in Pakistan, the arrested man identified himself as Kulbhushan Yadav, formerly a commander in the navy, who, Pakistan claims, was sent under deputation to the Research and Analysis Wing of the government to Iran. A passport (No. L9630722), purportedly belonging to the arrested man, showed his assumed name as ‘Hussein Mubarak Patel’, born in Sangli, Maharashtra, and living in Powai, as well as a valid Iranian visa in his name.

The details were shared with Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale on Friday morning, when he was summoned by Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhury, when Mr. Chaudhury lodged a protest with India.

However, officials denied that any documents had been handed over, and were able to verify the identity of the former Naval officer on the “basis of the name provided by Pakistan.”

The arrested former official is believed to have been flown to Islamabad, where he will be further interrogated.

Pakistan lodges protest over arrest of ‘RAW agent’

“The Indian High Commissioner was summoned by the Foreign Secretary and through a demarche conveyed our protest and deep concern on the illegal entry into Pakistan by a RAW officer and his involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi,” a Pakistan foreign ministry statement said.

Sources told The Hindu that during the conversation, Pakistani FS Mr. Chaudhury said that the arrest was in line with previous protests by Pakistan over what it calls Indian support to Baloch national groups, waging an insurgency in Pakistan. India has denied the charges of any involvement, but this is the first time Pakistan has alleged it has arrested a serving officer of the external intelligence agency R&AW.

The case has dominated Pakistani headlines after the details of the arrest of Mr. Yadav on March 21st were disclosed to the media. According to State Interior Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, the arrest took place in the Chaman area near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and Mr. Yadav had disclosed his real name, and said he worked for the R&AW and the Afghanistan intelligence agency NDS. ““It has been our contention that RAW has been involved (in creating unrest) in Balochistan,” Mr. Bugti told reporters on Friday.

According to intelligence officials in Pakistan, Mr. Yadav had entered Pakistan illegally through the border with Iran. While sources in the government said they had no information on why he would have crossed over from Iran, they said he was believed to be contracted privately with a construction project linked to the Chabahar port in Iran. Significantly, the arrest was announced on the day Iranian President Rouhani landed in Pakistan for a bilateral visit.

In India, military sources refused to comment on the issue. However one official, who didn’t wish to be named, pointed out that the speed of the MEA statement acknowledging the identity of the arrested man indicated that India had been given prior information about the arrest.

It is understood that NSA Ajit Doval has been in regular contact with the Pakistan NSA Janjua, with unconfirmed reports that they had shared intelligence on terror inputs as well in the past two months.

The arrest comes a week before Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif travel to Washington to attend the Nuclear Security Summit on March 31st. While no bilateral meeting has been confirmed by either side, the arrest in Balochistan is likely to come up in future talks between both countries, officials said.



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