Kulbhushan Jadhav. Photo: PTI
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday claimed that it has asked India through diplomatic channels to appoint a counsel for death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav, but New Delhi said that Islamabad has not yet communicated to it about the developments relating to the case.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said at her weekly press briefing that the Islamabad High Court has directed the government to give “another chance” to India and Jadhav to appoint a lawyer.
“After the directions of the Islamabad High Court of 3rd August we have contacted the Indian side through diplomatic channels and conveyed the same,” she said. “We are awaiting Indian response,” she added.
However in New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “We have not received any communication from Pakistan” on the issue.
He was asked whether Pakistan has informed India about Islamabad High Court’s order in the case.
The Islamabad High Court has named three senior lawyers as amici curiae in the case of Jadhav and ordered the Pakistan government to give “another chance” to India to appoint a counsel for the death-row prisoner.
Srivastava said Pakistan needs to implement the order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case and make available relevant documents to India besides providing “unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional” consular access to Jadhav.
Jadhav, the 50-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.
In 2017, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.
The Hague-based ICJ ruled in July 2019 that Pakistan must undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.
Responding to a question about allowing Jadhav to hire an Indian lawyer, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson said no such thing was under consideration.
To another query about any possibility of restoring contacts with India or reviving the backchannel links, she said: “Not at all. Not in the circumstances that we are observing.”