India

Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav refused to file review plea, offers consular access for second time

Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav refused to file review plea, offers consular access for second time
Kulbhushan Jadhav is a former Indian Navy officer who is on death row on charges of spying and terrorist activities. (File)

Pakistan has claimed that Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer who is on death row on charges of spying and terrorist activities, had refused to file a review petition for reconsideration of his sentence and conviction and instead wanted to go ahead with the mercy plea.

“On June 17, 2020, Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav was invited to file a petition for review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction. Exercising his legal right, he refused to file a petition for review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction,” Pakistan media quoted Additional Attorney General as saying during a Foreign Ministry press conference.

In the press conference, the official said Kulbhushan Jadhav preferred to follow up on his pending mercy petition that he filed on April 17, 2017. The Pakistan government also announced that it had offered India consular access to Jadhav for a second time.

According to Pakistan, Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016. Jadhav was sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. In May 2017, India moved the ICJ against the “farcical trial” by Pakistan’s military court.

In July last year, the ICJ, in its verdict, directed Pakistan to allow consular access and effectively review the death sentence. The court observed that Pakistan had breached international law by not granting consular access.

In May, Harish Salve, India’s legal counsel in the case at the ICJ, had said India resorted to “back-channel” efforts to “persuade” Islamabad to release Jadhav.

The Indian Express has learnt that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had, in one of his interactions with then Pakistan NSA, Nasser Khan Janjua, “gently nudged” Pakistan to release Jadhav. Salve also said that till date, Pakistan had refused to share the FIR, the chargesheet or the military court judgment.

“We (India) have been writing to Pakistan asking them to show evidence against Jadhav (in order) to better assist him. They refuse to part with it. We will not give it to you (they say). I think they (Pakistan) have a serious problem on their hands. Other than the confession, they have nothing,” Salve had said.

Rejecting the claims, Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said the government had granted India consular access to Jadhav and was processing measures for effective review and reconsideration as per the guidelines provided by the ICJ in its judgment.

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