Kulbushan Jadhav case: Pakistan tells ICJ Vienna Convention doesn’t apply to spies


THE HAGUE: Pakistan on Wednesday dismissed India’s plea at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) seeking consular access to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, saying the provision of such an access under the Vienna Convention is only for legitimate visitors and not for spies.

Submitting counter memorial in the ICJ, Pakistan said that since India did not deny Jadhav was travelling with an assumed Muslim name, they have no case to plead.

India has sought consular access to Jadhav repeatedly but Pakistan has turned down its requests, citing bilateral accord that did not permit such an access to spies.

“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,” the Pakistani reply stated.

Since Jadhav was on active duty, it is obvious that “he was a spy sent on special mission”. Pakistan stated that “a state which does not come with clean hands cannot get any relief”.

“Only a state which adheres to legitimate actions can request the court to intervene in a matter between two states,” Pakistan stated.

Pakistan argued that sending Jadhav for espionage and funding terrorist activities are some of the reasons that restrict India from invoking the ICJ’s jurisdiction.

According to sources, Pakistan also highlighted constant violations of human rights committed by India in occupied-Kashmir, including the use of pellet guns.

The international court will now decide whether to take the case forward for hearing or ask the parties (Pakistan and India) to submit more documents.

On Dec 8, Pakistan granted permission to the mother and wife of the Indian convicted spy to meet him on Dec 25.

Talking to a private media outlet, Attorney General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali had said, “I think the case will be taken up for hearing around April, May after the recently elected judges of the ICJ has taken their oath on February 6.

Former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani will also serve as an ad-hoc judge in the bench.

Pakistan’s reply was submitted by the Foreign Office’s Director India, Fariha Bugti.

Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan in March 2016 in a joint counter-intelligence operation. Few days later, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) released his recorded statement in which the naval officer-turned-RAW agent confessed to have been working for the Indian secret service.

He admitted that he was working for RAW, which had given him the task to carryout subversive activities in Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan. Jadhav was later given the death sentence by a military tribunal. India then moved the ICJ, which after preliminary proceedings, issued a stay order till the case is decided.