India dismissed as a “continuation of a farce” Pakistan’s claim on Wednesday that Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav has refused to file a review petition against his death sentence and only wants to follow up on his mercy petition. India said the claim, yet another instance of concocted narratives, was meant to mask Pakistan’s reticence to implement the ICJ judgment in letter and spirit.
The ICJ had last year called upon Pakistan to review and reconsider Jadhav’s sentencing while allowing India consular access. It had upheld India’s contention that Jadhav was not provided benefit of due process of law in violation of Geneva conventions and sentenced by “black” military court. Recalling that Jadhav had been sentenced to death through a farcical trial, India said he had clearly been forced into not filing a review in the case.
The Modi government added that India will do its utmost to protect Jadhav and ensure his safe return to India by considering all “appropriate options” even as Pakistan sought to create a “mirage of compliance” with the ICJ judgment.
Pakistan said in a statement that it had invited India to file a review and reconsideration petition after Jadhav’s “refusal to do so”. Islamabad also claimed Jadhav only wanted to follow up on his mercy petition. Pakistan had on May 20 this year passed an ordinance to allow for the high court to review the sentence awarded to Jadhav by the military court.
“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 him to forego his rights to seek an implementation of the judgement of the ICJ,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. The alleged decision would be akin to Jadhav accepting the death sentence.
Pakistan also said earlier in the day that it is ready to give India consular access for the second time and offered Jadhav a meeting with his family and his wife and mother who had met him. The meeting was a difficult experience for the family as they were subjected to heckling in Pakistan and found Jadhav under extreme stress and unable to say anything beyond parroting ISI lines.
While Pakistan had granted India consular access once, India had said that the manner in which it was given, in the presence of Pakistani officials, was not in keeping with the spirit of the ICJ judgment. The government said the Pakistan ordinance itself was a “U-turn” from Islamabad’s position all along that their laws provided for effective review and reconsideration.
“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,” said the official, adding that Pakistan was only seeking to create an illusion of remedy.
The government said Pakistan continued to deny India free and unimpeded access to Jadhav and also not allowed him, as asked for by India, a lawyer from outside Pakistan. Since Jadhav’s sentencing, the government recalled, Pakistan had refused to hand over any relevant document, including FIR, evidence, court order to India. “Clearly, Pakistan is attempting to create a mirage of compliance with the ICJ judgement,” said the official.


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