The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday criticised Pakistan for trying to link the Kulbhushan Jadhav case with another Indian prisoner’s case, who is in jail despite completing his sentence.
Shahnawaz Noon, who was seeking repatriation for Mohammad Ismail, the other jailed Indian, had told the Islamabad High Court that India’s chargé d’affaires was willing to appear in the court to explain New Delhi’s stance on Jadhav, the Hindustan Times reported.
Anurag Srivastava, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said that Noon had made the remarks without authorisation from the Indian government due to pressure from Pakistan. “Noon is reported to have made those statements which are not true and are in contravention of our stand in the case,” the spokesperson said. “He appears to have acted under pressure from the Pakistani establishment to make such statements, for which he has no authorisation.”
Srivastava said that Pakistan’s attorney general raised the matter pertaining to Jadhav during the hearing in Ismail’s case, even though both of them are not linked.
“Noon misrepresented the position of the High Commission,” Srivastava said. “He was clearly told by the High Commission that he had no authority to represent either the government of India or Kulbhushan Jadhav.”
The Indian mission in Islamabad has written to Noon, reiterating that he has no authority to represent Jadhav and no basis to say that the Indian chargé d’affaires will appear in court, the spokesperson said.
The foreign ministry said that India’s position on Jadhav has been made clear on several instances. “Pakistan has failed to respond on core issues pertaining to the case, including provision of all documents, providing unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional consular access to Jadhav and this is required to provide the basis for an effective review and reconsideration of the case as ordered by the ICJ [International Court of Justice],” the spokesperson said.
A Pakistani military court had sentenced former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav to death in April 2017 for allegedly spying for India. Jadhav’s execution was stayed after India moved the International Court of Justice against the verdict in May 2017. India had contended in the court in The Hague that the lack of consular access to Jadhav was a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
In its July 2019 judgement, the International Court of Justice had concluded that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention in its treatment of Jadhav and ordered Islamabad not to execute him at the moment. Following the court’s judgement, Pakistan allowed India access to the former naval officer.
In July, India had accused Pakistan of blocking all legal remedies to Jadhav and accused the country of adopting a “farcical approach” to the case. On July 17, Pakistan had claimed it had offered to grant India consular access to Jadhav for the third time without the presence of a security guard. India had got the second consular access to Jadhav on July 16, but the officials who had gone to meet him alleged that they were not provided “unimpeded access” and that he was visibly under stress due to the presence of Pakistani officials at the meeting.
In August, New Delhi had once again accused Islamabad of failing to provide unimpeded consular access to Jadhav.