India has rubbished Pakistan’s claim that Kulbhushan Jadhav who is imprisoned in that country has refused to initiate review petition and called it a farce.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also accused Pakistan of coercing Jadhav, a former navy officer who was sentenced to death, to refuse to file a review in his case.
“Pakistan’s claim that Jadhav, who is incarcerated in Pakistan’s custody, has refused to initiate review petition is a continuation of the farce that has been in play for the last four years. Jadhav has been sentenced to execution through a farcical trial. He remains under custody of Pakistan’s military. He has clearly been coerced to refuse to file a review in his case,” the MEA said.
It also underlined that New Delhi wants unimpeded access to Jadhav to discuss his remedies
“India sought unimpeded access to Jadhav to discuss his remedies under the Ordinance. In a brazen attempt to scuttle even the inadequate remedy under the Ordinance, Pakistan has obviously coerced Jadhav to forego his rights to seek an implementation of the judgment of the ICJ (International Court of Justice).”
In May 2017, New Delhi petitioned the ICJ, which stayed Jadhav’s execution. In its ruling in July 2019, the ICJ said its stay of the death sentence should continue. Pakistan claims Jadhav is an Indian spy.
The MEA said Pakistan statement on Wednesday seeks to mask its continuing reticence to implement ICJ judgment.
“We have been pursuing through diplomatic channels full and effective implementation of the ICJ judgment in the case of Kulbushan Jadhav. The media statement made by Pakistan today in the case seeks to mask its continuing reticence to implement ICJ judgment in letter and spirit.”
The MEA said Pakistan passed an Ordinance in May this year to allow for the High Court to review the sentence awarded by their military court.
“They have all along maintained that their laws allowed for effective review and reconsideration while we have protested it all along. Now, after almost a year, they have made a u-turn and issued an Ordinance to ostensibly provide for some sort of review. We have already expressed our serious concerns at the content of the Ordinance and how it violates the ICJ judgment. Pakistan is only seeking to create an illusion of remedy,” it said.
The MEA said despite India’s repeated requests, Pakistan continues to deny free and unimpeded access to Jadhav.
“India has repeatedly asked to allow a lawyer from outside Pakistan to appear for Jadhav in any review and reconsideration proceedings. Pakistan has denied it. Since 2017, when the Military Court carried out a farcical trial, Pakistan has refused to hand over any relevant document, including FIR, evidence, court order, etc in the case to India. Clearly, Pakistan is attempting to create a mirage of compliance with the ICJ judgment,” the statement said.
It said India will exercise all options to secure Jadhav’s release.
“ICJ has already held that Pakistan is in egregious violation of international law. Government will do its utmost to protect Jadhav and ensure his safe return to India. To that end, it would consider all appropriate options.”