ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan has categorically rejected incorrect and misleading assertions made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) regarding the legal proceedings currently taking place in the case of the Indian Naval Commander Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav.
In a statement on Friday, the Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that it is evident that by casting aspersions on the Indian High Commission’s own legal Counsel, the Indian government is looking for an escape from the legal proceedings in Commander Jadhav case.
The Spokesperson said that the Indian government is reminded that in pursuance of the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan had invited the Indian High Commission to meet with Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav and appoint a lawyer on his behalf so that proceedings to review and reconsider Commander Jadhav’s conviction could commence.
However, during the course of diplomatic exchanges, the Indian High Commission refused to instruct a lawyer itself as in their view this would amount to a waiver of India’s sovereign immunity.
Resultantly, the government of Pakistan was constrained to initiate proceedings for the appointment of a state counsel for Commander Jadhav, the Spokesperson added.
Chaudhri said that during the course of the proceedings, to show the discrepancy in the Indian position, the Attorney-General for Pakistan cited the case of Mr. Muhammad Ismail, an Indian national currently in custody in Pakistan, where the Indian High Commission had instructed Mr. Noon as its lawyer.
Contrary to the false statement by the MEA, no attempt was made to link the cases of Commander Jadhav with another Indian prisoner Ismail, Chaudhri said.
The Foreign Office Spokesperson said that the two cases are and remain entirely distinct. Reference to the case of Mr. Ismail was only for purpose of showing the discrepancy and inconsistency in the Indian position.
The Spokesperson reiterated that in line with the ICJ judgment, Pakistan has already provided consular access to the Indian High Commission twice and has taken all necessary steps for effective review and reconsideration in the case.
The offer of a third consular access is still there, he added.
Chaudhri once again urged India to desist from the use of its usual diversionary and dilatory tactics and instead take practical steps so that legal proceedings could be duly concluded and full effect could be given to the judgment of the ICJ.