Kulbhushan Jadhav and hope of many Indians!
India-Pakistan relationship has always had a series of twists and turns. You get what you expect the least. Since the days of Partition, there has been a never-ending tussle that continues to date. In the latest development, Pakistan has agreed to arrange a meeting between and his wife on “humanitarian grounds”.
This is an offer that has taken India by surprise. Pakistan said that it would arrange the meeting between former Indian Navy officer held on espionage charges, and his wife. On April 25, India had sought visas for Jadhav’s parents, Sudhir and Avantika Jadhav, to visit Pakistan. It was exactly two weeks after Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court.
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Kulbhushan Jadhav and the Developments
Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs said the government was deliberating on how to react to the latest offer made by Pakistan. It is being considered that a visa has not been sought for Jadhav’s wife, whose identity has not been revealed. The ministry is yet to officially respond on the issue. Sources described Pakistan’s offer as an attempt to counter India’s argument at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. The argument said that Jadhav was not granted consular access in breach of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. On May 18, a 10-member ICJ bench had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till it adjudicates on the case.
On the flip side, sources said, Pakistan’s “offer” is the latest indication
that Jadhav is “still alive”.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in its official statement that the Government of Pakistan has decided to arrange a meeting of Commander Kul Bhushan Jadhav with his wife, in Pakistan. It is based purely on humanitarian grounds. It also informed that a Note Verbale to effect has been sent to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
Pakistan has referred repeatedly to Jadhav as “Commander”, in a bid to imply that he was a serving as an Indian official. It is contrary to India’s claim that he was retired defence personnel who became a businessman.
The Pakistan foreign ministry further added that Commander Kul Bhushan Jadhav alias, Hussain Mubarak Patel, was a serving Commander of the Indian Navy, working with Indian Intelligence Agency/RAW. He was detained by Pakistan law enforcement agencies on March 3, 2016, after it is claimed that he illegally crossed over into Pakistan. Pakistan Foreign Ministry says that he confessed before a Magistrate and the Court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organize espionage, terrorist and sabotage activities. All these activities were aimed at destabilizing and waging war against Pakistan.
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These charges have been rejected by India. The government of India has maintained that Jadhav was a businessman based in Chabahar in Iran and was kidnapped from that country. The Indian side had pursued various legal remedies available under the Pakistan Army Act 1952 in the case. The Government had applied for visas for Jadhav’s parents through the External Affairs Ministry.
However, the sources say that no responses to those applications have been received to date.
What has all happened earlier with Kulbhushan Jadhav?
Jadhav’s family has filed an appeal and submitted a petition to the Federal Government of Pakistan under Section 131 of the Pakistan Army Act 1952. The appeal and petition were handed over by the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad to Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary in Islamabad.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj wrote a letter to the then Advisor to the Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs. She requested his personal intervention regarding visas for the “parents”. The government also sought consular admittance to Jadhav several times, but it all went in vain.
Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the process of filing of plea has started. It’s in response to India’s representation in the ICJ against the death sentence to Jadhav. The ICJ had asked Pakistan to submit its response by December 13 before the court could start further proceedings. India had submitted its representation on September 13.
India has warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the execution, which it described as “premeditated murder”, was carried out.
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