Rejecting India’s plea for consular access to death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pakistan on Wednesday claimed that New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its “spy”. Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, was arrested in Pakistan on espionage charges.
In its counter-memorial submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan said the provision of such an access under the Vienna Convention is only for legitimate visitors and not for spies, the Express Tribune reported. In its defense, Pakistan also said that “the Indians have not denied that Jadhav was traveling on a passport with an assumed Muslim name,” the report added.
“Lack of explanation on how a serving naval commander was operating under secondment to Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was travelling under an assumed name leads to only one conclusion that India wanted consular access to the information he had gathered,” said the counter-memorial submitted by Pakistan, according to the paper.
While Pakistan claims that Jadhav was arrested by security forces from Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran, the Indian side maintains he was kidnapped from Iran where he developed business after retiring from the Navy.
Claiming that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he entered the country with the intent of spying, Pakistan in its reply to ICJ said, “Only a state which adheres to legitimate actions can request the court to intervene in a matter between two states.”
Citing its sources, the Express Tribune report also suggests that Pakistan will argue that sending Jadhav for espionage, funding terrorist activities are some of the reasons that dis-entitle India from invoking the jurisdiction of the ICJ.
The world court which had halted Jadhav’s execution earlier this year will now have to decide whether to take the case forward for hearing or ask both India and Pakistan to submit more documents.
Pakistan which has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav agreed to let him meet his wife on “humanitarian grounds.” Jadhav’s mother and wife will be traveling to Pakistan on December 25 to meet him. An Indian envoy would be allowed to accompany the visitors in Islamabad.
(With inputs from PTI)