New Delhi, Jul 16, 2020: India has sought unrestricted consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav ahead of the July 20 deadline to file a review petition, sources told India Today TV on Thursday. Apart from unconditional consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, India has also insisted that Pakistan does not force English as the medium of language.
In keeping with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment, India has said that consular access and free and fair trial are preconditions. According to the sources, India also wants two officials to be allowed to meet Kulbhushan Jadhav.
The development has come a week after Pakistan claimed that Kulbhushan Jadhav has refused to file an appeal in the Islamabad High Court against his conviction by a military court despite Pakistani authorities’ offer to do so, a claim dismissed by India as "farce".
India termed Pakistan’s claims on Kulbhushan Jadhav as "farce" and said he has clearly been "coerced" to forego his rights. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said Pakistan was attempting to create an "illusion of remedy" in the case.
The MEA spokesperson also asserted that India will do its "utmost" to protect Kulbhushan Jadhav and ensure his safe return to India.
Kulbhushan Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. Challenging the death sentence, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. The ICJ had, then, restrained Pakistan from executing Kulbhushan Jadhav.
In July last year, the Hague-based court ruled that Pakistan must undertake an "effective review and reconsideration" of the conviction and sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.