ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui on Thursday said that Pakistan has once again contacted the Indian government over the matter of appointing a legal representative for spy and agent of intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Kulbhushan Jadhav.
During the news briefing, the FO spokesperson said that the move came under the light of Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) directives. We are waiting for the response of Indian authorities on this matter, she said.
Earlier, IHC had directed the government to recontact India for the appointment of legal representative for Jadhav. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had asked the attorney general to brief the court about the history of the case.
“We want to make the Indian government and Jadhav part of the case, and hence, the federation assured to approach the neighbouring country through the foreign office for the hiring of a lawyer for the spy,” the IHC CJ had said.
Earlier on July 22, 2020, the government had moved the court stating that Jadhav, who was involved in several terrorist activities in Pakistan, had refused to file a plea against his sentence. The agent cannot appoint a lawyer in Pakistan without assistance from India, it had read.
On July 2, Pakistan had decided to grant third consular access to Jadhav following his refusal to file a review petition against his sentence.
On July 16, Indian charge d’affaires had reached the FO as New Delhi had accepted Pakistan’s offer to give second consular access to Jadhav. The place where the agent was kept had been declared as sub-jail.
Aisha said that on September 2, 2019, Pakistan had provided the first consular access to Jadhav under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963. She said that the mother and wife of Commander Jadhav were also allowed to meet him on December 25, 2017.
She also said that Pakistan provided two consular officers of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad unimpeded and uninterrupted consular access to Indian Commander Jadhav.
On July 17, 2019, ICJ had rejected remedies sought by India, including annulment of military court decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.
Announcing the verdict, Judge Abdulqavi Ahmed Yousaf had asked Pakistan to review the death sentence for an alleged Indian spy, saying Islamabad had violated his rights to consular visits.
The ICJ had found that Pakistan deprived India of the right to communicate with and have access to Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation, and thereby breached obligations incumbent upon it under Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
The tribunal in The Hague had ordered an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav.”
The judge had remarked that Pakistan and India are signatories of the Vienna Convention. “A continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav,” it had ruled.
While finding Jadhav guilty of committing terrorist activities inside Pakistan, the court had ordered that the Indian spy cannot be handed over to India. Jadhav will remain in Pakistan’s custody, it had ruled.
Pakistani team headed by the attorney general was present in the courtroom. The team also included then FO spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal.
The government arrested Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel in the province of Balochistan on charges of terrorism and spying for India’s RAW.
The government had stated that he was a serving commander in the Indian Navy who was involved in subversive activities inside Pakistan and was arrested on March 3, 2016, during a counter-intelligence operation in Mashkel, Balochistan. The Indian government had recognised Jadhav as a former naval officer but denied any current links with him and maintained that he took premature retirement and was abducted from Iran.
On March 25, 2016, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had released the confessional statement of Jadhav where he claimed to be a serving Indian Navy officer.
“By 2002, I commenced intelligence operations. In 2003, I established a small business in Chabahar in Iran,” he had admitted. “As I was able to achieve undetected existence and visits to Karachi in 2003 and 2004. Having done some basic assignments within India for RAW, I was picked up by RAW in 2013 end.”
He had said that his purpose was to meet Baloch insurgents and carry out “activities with their collaboration.”
On April 8, 2017, ISPR had lodged a first information report (FIR) against him whereas on April 11, 2017, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa had confirmed the death sentence of Jadhav who was tried through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under Pakistan Army Act (PAA). He was tried under section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section III of the official Secret Act of 1923.
FGCM had found Jadhav guilty of all the charges. He had confessed before a magistrate and the court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.
On May 8, 2017, India had approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denying consular access to Jadhav.
On May 18, 2017, the ICJ had stayed the execution pending the final judgment on the case, and even on July 13, 2018, ICJ stayed Jadhav’s execution in Pakistan.
On June 22, 2017, Jadhav gave a second confessional statement where he confessed to carrying out subversive activities in Balochistan.
On Feb 22, 2019, ICJ had reserved its judgment in Jadhav case whereas they ruled the verdict on July 17, 2019.