The Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement on Friday that it was 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 statement added that “Pakistan categorically rejects incorrect and misleading assertions made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) regarding the legal proceedings currently taking place in the case of Indian Naval Commander Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav.”
Earlier, Barrister Shahnawaz Noon, representing the Indian High Commission seeking the release of an other prisoner, was asked by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) if he can represent Jadhav, and if he has been in contact with his client (the Indian High Commission) on the matter.
However, India refuses to appoint a lawyer to Jadhav, and following the IHC proceedings sought to discredit the legal process.
The FO spokesperson said: “the government of India is reminded that in pursuance of the judgment of International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan had invited the Indian High Commission to meet with Commander 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 appointment of a state counsel for Commander Jadhav.”
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, he added.
Contrary to the false statement by the MEA, no attempt was made to link the cases of Commander Jadhav with another Indian prisoner Ismail. 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.
It is reiterated that in line with the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), 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.
The Indian side is once again urged 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 ICJ, he concluded.