Qureshi accuses PML-N govt of mismanaging Kulbhushan Jadhav case

TNN Bureau. Updated: 6/14/2021 12:43:59 PM Jammu and Kashmir

New Delhi, Jun 14: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has charged the previous Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government of complicating the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

He was interacting with the media after launching the construction of a park in his Multan on Sunday.

Anticipating India's attempt to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case, he said, “We have taken steps to implement the directive of the International Court of Justice. India wants Pakistan to deny consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav so that it could have grounds to go to the ICJ. The opposition should not show ignorance by making statements in this regard. It should avoid strengthening the Indian point of view,” reported Dawn.

However, he did not elaborate on how the Nawaz Sharif government complicated the case during its five-year rule from 2013-18.

The Minister's statement comes amid strong protest by the Opposition against the Imran Khan-led government over The International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2020, the bill passed in the Pakistan National Assembly recently. The law will allow fresh consular access to Jadhav under the ICJ ruling.

India, he said, was attempting to take Pakistan again to the ICJ for not implementing its verdict.

Whoever was going through the process of accountability would be given an opportunity to prove himself innocent, he said.

Notably, 51-year old retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav was sentenced to death on charges of spying by a military court in Pakistan in April 2017. India claimed that Pakistan had informed it about his arrest and detention.

In May 2017, India had filed a case before the ICJ to get consular access to Jadhav.

Mr Jadhav, it said, was not been informed of his rights under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and that India’s consular officers had been denied access to him.

India also filed a request for the indication of provisional measures, requesting the Court to direct Pakistan to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed.

On May 18, 2017, the Court directed Pakistan to “take all measures at its disposal” to ensure that Mr Jadhav would not be executed pending a final decision in the case, and to inform the Court of all the measures taken in implementation of that order.

From February 18 to 21, 2019, public hearings of the case were held. In July 2019, the court addressed the three objections to admissibility raised by Pakistan, which were based on India’s alleged abuse of process, abuse of rights and unlawful conduct. The Court concluded that India’s Application was admissible.

The Court concluded that the Vienna Convention was applicable in the case, “regardless of the allegations that Mr. Jadhav was engaged in espionage activities”.

It observed that Pakistan did not contest India’s assertion that Mr Jadhav had not been informed of his rights under Article 36 of the Convention and concluded that Pakistan had breached its obligation under that provision.

As regards Pakistan’s alleged breach of its obligation to inform India, the Court found that since Pakistan had failed to inform Mr Jadhav of his rights.

Pakistan had notified India of the arrest and detention on March 25, 2016, some three weeks after his arrest, it observed.

The Court concluded that Pakistan had breached the obligations incumbent on it under Article 36, paragraph 1 (a) and (c), of the Vienna Convention, by denying India’s consular officers access to Mr Jadhav, contrary to their right to visit him, converse and correspond with him, and arrange for his legal representation.

However, the court could not uphold India's request to annul the decision of the military court and restrain Pakistan from giving effect to the sentence or conviction, and its further request for the Court to direct Pakistan to take steps to annul the decision of the military court, release Mr Jadhav and facilitate his safe passage to India.

The Court also found, however, that Pakistan was under an obligation to provide, by means of its own choosing, effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Jadhav, so as to ensure that full weight was given to the effect of the violation of the rights set forth in Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.

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