The nomination of the ad-hoc judge will be finalised after getting inputs from the Foreign Office and the military establishment. Earlier, government functionaries had also considered the name of former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani.
What is worrying New Delhi is that since Pakistan’s powerful military has to assert its influence and play to the gallery, India’s former Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav may become the casualty in the process.
“We have no official information on the change of status of the request made to grant the visa to Jadhav’s mother,” he said when asked if there was any formal communication from Pakistan on India’s request for a visa for Avantika to meet her son.
A Pakistani daily has voiced support in favour of Jadhav’s mother, saying she should be granted visa to visit Pakistan on humanitarian grounds as this provides opportunity for India and Pakistan to back away from an increasingly confrontational stance.
Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told reporters that Gen Bajwa was “analysing the evidence against Jadhav. The Army chief will decide on Jadhav’s appeal on merit.”
The remarks came two days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she had written a “personal letter” to Sartaj Aziz, the adviser to the Pakistani Prime Minister on foreign affairs, asking for approval of Avantika Jadhav’s visa application so that she may travel to Pakistan to meet her son.
Earlier on Monday, Swaraj had personally written a letter to Pakistan Minister of Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, requesting him to grant a visa for Jadhav’s mother so she could visit the former Indian navy officer in prison.
“I wrote a personal letter to Mr.Sartaj Aziz for the grant of her visa to Pakistan,” Sushma Swaraj said. She added that he did not even have the courtesy to reply to her letter.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the ICJ registrar at Peace Palace in The Hague that General Ausaf would be the ‘agent’ for Pakistan in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case whereas Foreign Affairs Director General Dr Mohammad Faisal would continue to act as the “co-agent’.
“The Indian attempt to equate Commander Jadhav’s case with civilian prisoners and fishermen is a travesty of logic,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said
The FO remarks came a day after the two countries exchanged a list of prisoners lodged in each other’s jails. According to the list Pakistan shared with India, at least 546 Indian nationals, including nearly 500 fishermen, are languishing in jails in that country.
“India again requested Pakistan to grant full and early consular access to the Indian nationals lodged in the custody of Pakistan, including Hamid Nehal Ansari and Kulbhushan Jadhav,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement in Delhi.
The ministry was quoted by ANI as saying, “Again requested Pakistan to grant consular access to Indians lodged in their custody including Hamid Nehal Ansari and Kulbhushan Jadhav.”
India had also forwarded a mercy petition filed by Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother, though the fate of that petition is unclear. India has not been granted consular access to Jadhav, and has maintained that it does not have any information about Jadhav’s well-being.
Earlier in the day Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had claimed that in his plea, Jadhav “admitted his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities” in Pakistan and “expressed remorse” at the resultant loss of lives and extensive damage to property.