World Europe 15 May 2017 Jadhav not eligible ...

Jadhav not eligible for consular access, India's silence deafening: Pak at ICJ

Published May 15, 2017, 6:48 pm IST
Updated May 15, 2017, 7:36 pm IST
In this March 29, 2016 photo, journalists look a image of Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. (Photo: AP)
 In this March 29, 2016 photo, journalists look a image of Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. (Photo: AP)

The Hague (Netherlands): Pakistan on Monday, while presenting its argument in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence case, said that the Indian Naval officer has 150 days to appeal for clemency. Jadhav, the alleged Indian spy, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court earlier this month.

“We are committed to the path of peaceful resolution despite provocation. Despite being ambushed in appearing before the court within a few days, we are here. We will not let anyone malign our position. Unfortunately, India has seen it fit to appeal to the ICJ for political theatre. We are disappointed that India did not take the opportunity to be transparent. India has been given a copy of Jadhav’s passport with a Muslim name which was seized with him. India could have denied that the passport is genuine, said Dr Muhammad Faizal, representing Pakistan’s case at the ICJ.

“We fully understand that the court at this stage is not expected to understand the merits of the case. However, it is important to hear the extracts of confessions of Jadhav. Around 6 minutes of the video were public. While the court has preferred to not show the video here, the video is available on public domain. We have left to viewers to decide if the confession was extracted,” he added.

“A period of 150 days is available for the petitioner to appeal for clemency. An expedited hearing is the approach Pakistan would like the court to adopt. We would not like the court to waste its resources in scoring political points,” the representative said. 

“India did not provide any substantial material to the court, given to it by us. It has just given our cover letter which sought India’s assistance to provide bank account details, while the names provided by Jadhav to Pakistani authorities were not given,” Pakistan counsel QC Qureshi said.

“What India’s application has sought to do is to introduce a newspaper article which is not on record in Pakistan, which is a plain misrepresentation,” Qureshi said, referring to an article quoted by India in a Pakistani newspaper which stated that there was 'irrefutable' evidence against Jadhav, and that it would not be overturned.

Qureshi claimed that India's silence on the accusations Pakistan has made against Jadhav is 'deafening'.

“What has India done to establish that Jadhav is an Indian national? He is in possession of a palpably false passport,” the Pakistani consul said.

Refuting India’s claims that the death sentence to Jadhav was a violation of Article 36, Pakistan said the Article could have not be applicable when the so mentioned national is a spy sent by the other state.

"India could have provided his passport with his original name, or provided his birth certificate; both of which India did not," he argued.

“While seriously allegations have been made against a member state of UN, not one bit of evidence has been provided by India against our allegations that Jadhav is a terrorist. The theory that Jadhav was kidnapped to extract a confession is at best far fetched,” Qureshi said to the bench.

The Pakistan counsel said that the country had said that consular access would be given to India based on a 2008 agreement. However, India wants it under the provisions of the Vienna Convention. Pakistan said Jadhav is ineligible for consular access under the 2008 agreement.

“There is no real risk of irreparable damage in a day or two as suggested by India. I would still suggest an expedited hearing,” Qureshi said to the bench.

Signing off on a sarcastic note, he added, “I am honoured to represent Pakistan in a hearing that was unnecessary.”

Earlier on Monday, India had presented its case in the matter, urging the ICJ to suspend the death sentence awarded to Jadhav. It had also raised its fear that Jadhav could be executed by Pakistan before the trial ends.

Arguing against the death penalty, Indian counsel Harish Salve had said that Jadhav was framed on the basis of confessional statements obtained forcefully from him when he was in Pakistan's military custody.

We want appropriate legal representation for Jadhav, India told the UN's main judicial body which has stayed his death sentence. India also accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by denying its 16 requests for consular access.

Pakistan had on March 3, 2016, arrested Jadhav and its military court sentenced him to death on May 8 on allegations of espionage and subversive activities.

India, in its appeal to the ICJ, had asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy. India acknowledges that Jadhav had served with the Navy but denies that he has any connection with the government.

Pakistan claims to have arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province.

The ICJ was last a battleground for India and Pakistan nearly 18 years ago when Islamabad sought its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft.



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