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Pakistan rejects ‘baseless, inaccurate’ allegations by Indian counsel in Kulbushan Jadhav case

Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui on Sunday said that Pakistan rejects the “baseless and inaccurate” allegations by Harish Salve, India’s legal counsel in the Kulbushan Jadhav case.

In an online lecture on May 3, Salve, who had represented India in the case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), alleged that Pakistan refused to respond to Indian queries about how it would carry out the ICJ’s judgement and review and reconsider Jadav’s case.

“We have written four to five letters to Pakistan […] but they just keep on denying. I think we have reached a point where we have to now decide whether we want to go back to ICJ for consequential directions because Pakistan has not moved ahead,” Tribune India quoted Salve as saying.

He also alleged that Pakistan granted consular access to Jadhav “too late” and refused to share details of the case with India.

The Foreign Office, while refuting the allegations, said that Pakistan has “fully complied” with the international court’s judgement. “Pakistan has granted India consular access to commander Jadhav and is processing measures for effective review and reconsideration as per the guidelines provided by ICJ in its judgment,” a statement from the FO read.

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The Foreign Office also said that Salve’s statements were “regrettable and a misrepresentation of facts”, adding that Pakistan followed “all its international obligations”.

The ICJ in its verdict in July 2019 had ruled that Jadhav be allowed consular access immediately and asked Pakistan to ensure “effective review and reconsideration of his conviction and sentences”.

The ICJ had, however, rejected all other remedies sought by India, which included the annulment of the military court decision convicting Jadhav, restricting Pakistan from executing the sentence, securing Jadhav’s release and ordering his return to India.

Arrest of Indian spy

Jadhav — a serving commander of the Indian Navy associated with Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan on allegations of espionage and terrorism.

In his subsequent trial at a military court, Jadhav had confessed to his involvement in terrorist plots.

The spy was subsequently sentenced to death in 2017. However, India insisted that Jadhav was not a spy and said he was kidnapped from Iran.

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On April 10, 2017, Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa had endorsed the death penalty for Jadhav. In June 2017, the Indian spy had filed a mercy petition against the death penalty, in which he again confessed to his involvement in terrorist activities.

However, before Pakistani authorities could make a final decision, the ICJ, after being approached by India, had ordered a stay in his execution through an interim order.

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