Kulbhushan Jadhav coerced to refuse death verdict review, case is a farce: India hits out at Pakistan

Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Anurag Srivastava said in response to a query about Kulbhushan Jadhav, “We have been pursuing through diplomatic channels full and effective implementation of the ICJ judgment in the case of Kulbhushan 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.”

Srivastava was referring to a statement made by the Pakistan government which goes on to claim that Jadhav refused to file a review petition and has instead decided to go ahead with his pending mercy plea.

“Pakistan’s claim that Shri 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. Shri 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,” Anurag Srivastava told reporters.

The MEA spokesperson added that India had sought unimpeded access to Jadhav to discuss his remedies under the Ordinance. Srivastava said, “In a brazen attempt to scuttle even the inadequate remedy under the Ordinance, Pakistan has obviously coerced Shri Jadhav to forego his rights to seek an implementation of the judgment of the ICJ.”

“Pakistan has on May 20, 2020 passed an Ordinance 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,” Anurag Srivastava said.

He went further to add, “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.”

Srivastava also told media outlets that despite India’s repeated requests, Pakistan continues to deny India free and unimpeded access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. He said, “India has repeatedly asked to allow a lawyer from outside Pakistan to appear for Shri Jadhav in any review and reconsideration proceedings. Pakistan has denied it. Since 2017, when 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.”

While reiterating the International Court of Justice’s verdict, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “ICJ has already held that Pakistan is in egregious violation of international law. Government will do its utmost to protect Shri Jadhav and ensure his safe return to India. To that end, it would consider all appropriate options.”

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