Kulbhushan Jadhav: In fog of facts – Nepal arrest, Army vs Nawaz

New Delhi-based diplomatic sources said the Government of India had served Pakistan with 13 separate diplomatic missives seeking access to Jadhav since March 25, 2016.

Written by Praveen Swami | New Delhi | Updated: April 12, 2017 10:43 am
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Fears are mounting that Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court, could be facing a protracted legal battle to avoid execution, highly placed official sources in Pakistan and India have told The Indian Express. The death sentence was handed down at the end of a rushed trial lasting just hours, without a civilian defence lawyer.

Treated as a serving Indian military officer on the basis of a confessional statement made in custody, Islamabad-based sources said Jadhav can now move an appellate military court, followed by Pakistan’s Supreme Court and the President, though he has so far not been allowed access to legal representation.

In the so-called confessional video, Jadhav states he will remain in service of the Indian Navy until 2022. However, he also says he “served in the Indian Navy till around 2001 December”.

“Frankly,” said a senior Islamabad-based lawyer, “he’s going to have a tough time. His fate is going to lie in the hands of Generals and politicians, not judges.”

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The verdict on Jadhav, sources in Islamabad said, came after an alarm was raised over the disappearance of a retired Pakistan Lt Colonel, Muhammad Habib Zahir, from Lumbini, close to the India-Nepal border. Islamabad suspects that Zahir, a former ISI officer, was probably lured by India’s intelligence services. Zahir is suspected to have played a key role in running terror networks, targeting states on the India-Nepal border.

Also Read: Pakistan court sentences Jadhav to death; if executed, it is murder, warns India

Islamabad-based sources claimed that the civilian government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not consulted prior to initiating the eleventh-hour military trial, initiated with the approval of Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa. Indian government sources said New Delhi was also not intimated until Sunday evening.

On Monday, Khwaja Asif, Pakistan’s Defence Minister, said the judgment should serve as “warning to those plotting against Pakistan”.

The judgment, which could set off a fresh rupture in India’s already fragile relationship with Pakistan, comes even as Pakistan’s Supreme Court is hearing litigation seeking action against Sharif for alleged holdings in offshore entitles disclosed in the Panama Papers.

Few facts have emerged from the wilderness of mirrors surrounding Jadhav, a Maharashtra-born Indian Navy engineer who ended up running a dhow business out of Iran’s Chabahar, armed with passports identifying him as Hussein Mubarak Patel.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, Kulbhushan Jadhav spy, Indian spy, Nepal arrest, Indian spy, Kulbhushan yadav,  Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pakistan, Indian High COmmission, Pakistan high commissioner, India-Pakistan, pakistan-india, Abdul Basit, Pakistan news, India news With his family refusing multiple requests to comment on the case, piecing together the story of Jadhav’s life has proved near impossible. Express photo by Nirmal Harindran

In a videotaped confession released by Pakistan’s military in March 2016, heavily edited with mid-sentence-cuts and containing several contradictory statements, Jadhav said he worked for India’s external intelligence service.

Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister Sharif’s advisor on Foreign Affairs, had been reported as telling the Senate in December 2016 that the country had been unable to complete a dossier on the case, meant for international circulation, because “the material, in our view, was insufficient”. A Foreign Office spokesperson had also said a “dossier shall be completed upon conclusion of the investigation”.

New Delhi-based diplomatic sources said the Government of India had served Pakistan with 13 separate diplomatic missives seeking access to Jadhav since March 25, 2016.

India and Pakistan are both signatories to Article 36 of the Vienna Protocol on Consular Relations, 1963, which mandates that consular of any country “shall have the right to visit a national of the[ir] sending State who is in prison, custody or detention, to converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation”.

“The Government has not been given the relevant paperwork on Jadhav’s trial so far,” an official at the Ministry of External Affairs said, “but we are exploring what legal avenues may be available. The Jadhav family may also be entitled to move an appeal on his behalf.”

Tehran’s envoy to Islamabad, Mehdi Honardoost, had last year dismissed Pakistan’s charges that Jadhav was a spy as “one hundred percent false”. Gunter Mulack, Germany’s former ambassador to Islamabad, said he had information that Jadhav had been kidnapped by the Taliban inside Iran Chaman, and sold to Pakistan’s ISI.

“Though it is vitally important to protect Pakistan against terrorism,” said Marvi Sirmed, a journalist and human rights activist, “there is no reason to destroy human rights and due legal process to do so. In Jadhav’s case, it was in Pakistan’s vital national interests to ensure consular access and legal due process so that our case was heard and believed by the international community”.

With his family refusing multiple requests to comment on the case, piecing together the story of Jadhav’s life has proved near impossible. What is clear is that in November 2003, Jadhav — then still an Indian Navy engineer, on the verge of retiring after 14 years of service — illegally obtained passport E6934766 in Pune, identifying him by the pseudonym Patel.

To some friends in Mumbai, who spoke to this newspaper, Jadhav claimed he was setting up an independent business in Iran. To others, he claimed he was beginning work with R&AW. In his confessional video, Jadhav says he was recruited by R&AW in 2013, but adds that he established “a base” in Iran’s Chabahar 10 years earlier.

Former R&AW officer Anand Arni denies Jadhav worked for the organisation. “I was a part of the Pakistan desk of R&AW for 25 years”, he says, “and I can state with authority that he was not connected with us. Retired officers are never made assets, and we would certainly never send anyone on a clandestine mission with an Indian passport”.

The address given to obtain his passport — the Martand Co-operative Housing Society in the Sai Vishwa area of Pune suburb Bavdhan — was incomplete. The records do not even state which apartment Jadhav may have occupied in the three-building complex.

Vijay Deshmukh, secretary of the building society, said records show no apartment was owned by anyone with the surnames Jadhav or Patel. None of the residents recognised Jadhav from a photograph shown to them.

Electronic tags linked to the passport show there was an earlier passport also issued to an individual called Hussein Mubarak Patel, possibly carrying visa stamps that made it easy to obtain new ones.

Whatever the truth, Jadhav ended up in the Chabahar free trade zone inside months, telling friends and family he was setting up a business to service dhows and ships operating out of the port. Later, he purchased a dhow, the Kaminda, though there are no records of its having docked in Mumbai. Business digests obtained by this newspaper show he tendered for at least one consignment of fertiliser to be shipped out of Iran.

In 2014, Jadhav obtained the passport he was eventually to be arrested with in Pakistan, L9630722, issued in Thane, identifying him as a resident of the Jasdanwala Complex of the old Mumbai-Pune road cutting through Navi Mumbai. The flat, municipal records show, was owned by his mother Avanti Jadhav.

Even though Pakistan claims Jadhav was aiding Baloch insurgent groups, it is yet to release any details on specific individuals he is alleged to have been in contact with, or acts of terrorism he facilitated.

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First Published on: April 11, 2017 5:36 am
  1. S
    Sajjad MALIK
    Apr 12, 2017 at 3:08 am
    A master stroke by stan, because when Jhadave was arrested late in march 2016, Indian FO said, they don't know such a person, he is not an Indian, and now, they are claiming he is son of soil, so sad. Please stop the proxies, try to bring peace in the region.
    Reply
    1. K
      kt
      Apr 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm
      India issued no such statements, stop living in ISPR lala land. India issued the first note verbale for consular access to Shri.Jadhav on March 25,2016.
      Reply
    2. A
      ashim
      Apr 11, 2017 at 4:55 pm
      The nature of his business in Islamist countries made him 2 change name ...for ease of doing business and contacts. Its not some of the happy and safe places to work anyways. I feel, Pak has already killed Mr. Kulbhusan. Him being an Navy officer makes sense to extract info and intelligence by 3rd degree and he gave in. Now this secret trial to cover up and he will be hanged secretly as well. One can produce cooked up evidences in courts with help of State etc., but one cant produce a dead man in the trial... Hence, all this cover-ups.
      Reply
      1. M
        Michellegt;Vedicgt;human
        Apr 11, 2017 at 12:03 pm
        Release him immediately
        Reply
        1. A
          atul rajput
          Apr 11, 2017 at 11:36 am
          At least allow him access to legal representation. Hang him if he is guilty. I'm sure he must have been prepared for such a fate when he started out. On who is wrong and who is right, neither of the two nations is as innocent as they claim. Still, a country where military has blinded and scared everyone to believe that they are under constant threat of an attack, has no way of knowing even when it's being wrong and foolish. And it doesn't care about international opinion either. What will India do? Just make a bit of noise while he is still alive. They will hang him anyway.
          Reply
          1. H
            HOMER
            Apr 11, 2017 at 11:28 am
            Even wild savage animals would be more civilized than S who are kept alive by American Arab and Chinese money! Animals that behead captured soldiers and play football with the severed heads cannot be expected to be even sub-humans! In fact they probably take pleasure in our distress!
            Reply
            1. M
              Mahender Goriganti
              Apr 11, 2017 at 11:28 am
              Kulbushan Jadav is a Muslim Indian spy. So he should Ben hanged.
              Reply
              1. H
                HOMER
                Apr 11, 2017 at 11:25 am
                The S are animals kept by Americans Arabs and Chinese who themselves are violent uncouth greedy callous war mongers! We mustn't expect those who have willingly regressed to subhuman savages to even behave like domesticated animals!
                Reply
                1. H
                  HOMER
                  Apr 11, 2017 at 11:20 am
                  Filthy Islamic savages who behead soldiers and play football with their heads cannot possibly act like civilized or even domesticated animals. We should be resigned to the fact of their barbarism and not give them the pleasure they derive from our pain and distress!
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    Amit
                    Apr 11, 2017 at 10:49 am
                    z are descendants of Mughals & still dream of ruling India. They need to be treated very harshly and with disdain to bring them to their senses. All those in India who advocate friendship with that country are in reality Trojan horses implanted in India to serve stani intrests
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Azam Ali
                      Apr 12, 2017 at 5:12 pm
                      no sir we have no dream to rule india, all we want to live with peace and equality. We have issue with India over Kashmir. Other then I do not hate any Indian or Hindu, but please do not believe what you heard on your tv. Your media is overly Nationalist and would not tell the truth. We are lucky despite all that nice of hidden hands, our media is more courageous to talk. His obtaining a fake p port of legitimate business itself fishy. there are hindus working in ultra Orthodox Saudi Arabia without changing names. Anyway you got your fish in the name of Col. Zahir. Just chew it and enjoy (and I am sure we would send you Kubushan's body). Sad but wars (overt or covert) only make widows and orphans thats true for both side. I just hope all of us could solve our differences in civilize way and no one have to die for false national pride. Good luck my indian bros and sisters.
                      Reply
                    2. P
                      Pushan Roy
                      Apr 11, 2017 at 10:47 am
                      Flowers are one of the innovative items which are meant to make every soul soothing. The flowers are suitable for gifting on all occasion be it Birthday, Marriage, Anniversary or any other gathering. Flowers are the cl y items which are solely meant to attract the individuals and the categories are, Roses, Orchids, Pink Lilies, Oriental Lilies, Asiatic Lilies, Mixed Gerberas, Chrysanthemums, Carnations, Birds of Paradise, Alsotroniums etc which are sent via Baskets, Bouquets, Vases, Hand Bunches, so people Send Flowers to Chandigarh.
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        RANA
                        Apr 11, 2017 at 10:43 am
                        IE इंग्लिश में पाकिस्तान को सेंसर क्यों कर रहे हो???
                        Reply
                        1. R
                          RANA
                          Apr 11, 2017 at 10:45 am
                          और मादर चो द भी लिखने नहीं दे रहे।
                          Reply
                        2. R
                          RANA
                          Apr 11, 2017 at 10:41 am
                          stan
                          Reply
                          1. Y
                            Yasser Yousufi
                            Apr 11, 2017 at 10:32 am
                            "In the so-called confessional video, Jadhav states he will remain in service of the Indian Navy until 2022. However, he also says he “served in the Indian Navy till around 2001 December”." I do not see much of a contradiction in this statement. Its obvious he may have been a regular Navy Officer till 2001 before he volunteered/was asked to spy for India and ist in acts of sabotage by Baloch rebels.
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              rn rn
                              Apr 11, 2017 at 10:30 am
                              Launch a surgical strike to free all Indian prisoners in stan and kill all prisoners from stanis captured by India. stan needs to be taught a tough lesson . Yes this is a like a film but i trust RAW.
                              Reply
                              1. P
                                Parinda
                                Apr 11, 2017 at 10:13 am
                                What about the confessions of Kalboshan recorded in camera ? He acknowledged all activities including m murders & spreading terrorism in stan. Its high time India should re-think its relations with neighbour keeping in view the hugely dominant poverty in far & wide in India.
                                Reply
                                1. R
                                  Roni salins
                                  Apr 11, 2017 at 10:39 am
                                  Rethinking should be from stan side too. And after torture anyone will accepthe crime they haven't done. Anyways stan ko attacks bandh karne kahiye kashmir aur pok wapis india ke hawale kare phir baat kar sakte hai
                                  Reply
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