On Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs accused Pakistan of coercing Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Naval Officer whom they claimed to have refused to file a review plea. Jadhav was arrested on charges of espionage and terrorism in 2016 and has been in Pakistan’s custody since then. He was sentenced to death by an Army court in April 2017.
“Pakistan’s declaration that Jadhav, who is confined to their custody, has refused to commence the review of his petition is just a continuation of absurdity and mockery that has been played for the last four years. He remains under the custody of Pakistan’s military. He has clearly been forced to refuse to file the review of his case,” said the Ministry of External Affairs.
It was also projected that MEA wanted unhindered access to Jadhav to discuss his remedies. But despite repeated efforts seeking access, Pakistan had continuously denied granting free and unobstructed access to Jadhav.
Further, the MEA held that they had continuously asked to grant a lawyer from outside Pakistan to appear for Jadhav in the proceedings of his case. But Pakistan had denied allowing it. Furthermore, since 2017, Pakistan has refused to hand over any document including FIR, court orders, evidence, etc of the case to India. It has further added that they will exercise all possible ways to ensure Jadhav’s exculpation.
Moreover, the International Court of Justice had already held that Pakistan had committed a grievous infringement of international law. Subsequently, the Indian Government has also stated that it will do everything to ensure Jadhav’s protection, and will consider all the options for his safe return to India.
(This news has been written and submitted by Ms. Vishakha Bhardwaj during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Vishakha is a third-year law student at the Army Institute of Law, Mohali.)