Jadhav’s detention illegal, under fabricated charges: Jaishankar

P L Uniyal. Dated: 7/19/2019 10:29:39 AM

Asks Pak to release, repatriate him

NEW DELHI, Jul 18: Describing the detention of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan as “illegal” and under “fabricated” charges, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Thursday urged Islamabad to release and repatriate him immediately.
Making a statement in Rajya Sabha, he said the verdict of the International Court of Justice is not only a vindication for Jadhav but also for all those who believe in the rule of law.
Hailing Jadhav’s family, Jaishankar added, “Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family has shown exemplary courage in difficult circumstances. I can assure the government will vigorously continue its efforts to ensure his safety and well being, as well as his early return to India.”
It was Jaishankar’s predecessor, former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj leading the way in scripting the case at ICJ. She was in touch with Jadhav’s family, bureaucrats, lawyers and the top Indian leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The 49-year-old retired Navy officer was sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court after a closed trial in April 2017 on charges of “espionage and terrorism”.
A bench led by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ordered an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav”.
The verdict of the International Court of Justice Wednesday puts pressure on Pakistan by raising the bar for the next steps in Kulbhushan Jadhav’s due process.
In a major victory for India, the International Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence for Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism.”
Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.
A bench led by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ordered an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav.”
The bench also ruled by 15 votes to 1 that Pakistan had violated India’s rights to consular visits after Jadhav’s arrest.
Pakistan “deprived the Republic of India of the right to communicate with and have access to Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation,” the judges had said.
Pakistan was under the obligation to inform India about the arrest and detention of Jadhav under the Vienna Convention, Judge Yusuf had ruled.
India put intense diplomatic pressure on Pakistan through numerous diplomatic notes and demarches and letter by the External Affairs Minister over a sustained period of time for consular access and release of Jadhav, as per government sources. “India's Stand on Vienna Convention and consular access was upheld. India will get access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. India's legal arguments were upheld, including the correctness of the decision to approach ICJ,” they told news agency.
India maintains that Jadhav was "kidnapped from Iran, where he was residing and carrying on business after retiring from the Indian navy. There is absolutely no clarification by Pakistan about the circumstances of his arrest.”
India put up a formidable legal team led by Harish Salve. The ICJ agreed to India's viewpoint by issuing a binding order to Pakistan to prevent the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav. The court also granted him consular access holding Pakistan guilty of violating the Vienna Convention.
Reacting to the ICJ verdict, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that it is yet another manifestation of the Narendra Modi government's diplomatic efforts. “A great day at the @CIJ_ICJ! The verdict is a victory of truth and protects human dignity. It is yet another manifestation of Modi Government's diplomatic efforts and commitment to protecting all Indians. I congratulate Harish Salve ji for his stupendous efforts through the case,” he had tweeted.
Pakistan claims that Kulbhushan Jadhav, 49, was “arrested” from Balochistan by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016, after he allegedly entered the country from Iran - a claim that India has rubbished. It was on March 25, 2016, that then Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, had informed the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad of Jadhav's “arrest.” Since then, Pakistan has not offered any explanation as to why Islamabad took over three weeks to inform the Indian High Commissioner about Kulbhushan Jadhav's arrest. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on April 11, 2017.

 

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