In a scathing admonition of Pakistan, the government on Thursday said that Islamabad has blocked all the avenues for an effective remedy available for India in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
Jadhav is an Indian national detained by Pakistan since 2016 after he was kidnapped from Iran. Islamabad has alleged that he is an Indian spy and was involved in subversive activities in Pakistan.
During his weekly briefing, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that Pakistan is not only in violation of the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), but also of its own ordinance.
“Pakistan has completely failed to provide the remedy as directed by the ICJ and India reserves its position in the matter, including its rights to avail further remedies,” he said.
India has so far requested consular access 12 times over the past one year. However, Pakistan has not provided an unimpeded consular access yet. The meeting of consular officers with Jadhav on July 16 was “scuttled by Pakistan authorities”, Srivastava said.
The consular officers, he said, were instructed not to hand over any document to Jadhav. As a result, the Indian consular officers could not obtain a power of attorney from Jadhav.
India has repeatedly requested Pakistan for relevant documents related to the case of Jadhav. Pakistan advised India that the relevant documents could be handed over only to an authorised Pakistani lawyer. Thereafter, India appointed a Pakistani lawyer to obtain the relevant documents.
“To our surprise, as advised by the Pakistani authorities, when the authorised Pakistani lawyer approached the concerned authorities, they declined to handover the documents to the lawyer,” the spokesperson said.
In the absence of an unimpeded and unhindered consular access as well as the relevant documents, as a last resort, India tried to file a petition on July 18. “However, our Pakistani lawyer informed that a review petition could not be filed in the absence of power of attorney and supporting documents related to the case of Jadhav,” he said.
Pakistan, the spokesperson said, also created confusion over the last date of filing a petition. Initially, they indicated that a petition has to be filed by no later than July 19. Subsequently, Pakistan indicated that the time limit to file a review petition shall expire on July 20.
Knowing the inadequacies and shortcomings in the ordinance, India had already shared its concerns earlier this month, including a considerable delay in informing India about its promulgation, with the Pakistan authorities.
“Pakistan took two weeks to inform us about this ordinance and shared the copy of the ordinance only after India requested for the same,” Srivastava said.
India, he added, has conveyed that the ordinance neither fulfils nor does it give complete weight to the judgment of the ICJ.
“With regard to the ordinance, it seems, Pakistan was non-serious in its approach and was not interested in implementing the judgment of the ICJ in letter and spirit,” the government spokesperson said.
The whole exercise of not providing any document related to the case even after repeated requests, not providing an unimpeded consular access and some reported unilateral action of approaching the high court on part of Pakistan again exposes the farcical nature of Pakistan’s approach, Srivastava said.