Kulbhushan Jadhav will be alive till he exhausts the right to seek clemency: Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said alleged Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav will remain alive till he does not exhaust the right to seek clemency.

File photo of Kulbhushan Jadhav . PTI

File image of Kulbhushan Jadhav. PTI

"Irrespective of International Court of Justice's (ICJ) stay, Jadhav will remain alive until he has exhausted the right to request for clemency, initially with the COAS (army chief) and later with the president," foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said.

Zakaria released a statement which he claimed was aimed at addressing "certain misrepresentations/false statements/allegations" made by the Indian media following the ICJ's provisional measures order of 18 May in the Jadhav case.

He accused the Indian government of misusing the media to create a "false impression of winning" Jadhav's case in the ICJ.

"Indian media, backed by the official quarters, misled people in the two countries by propagating that India has won in Jadhav's case," he said.

"The discussions that ensued in the two countries showed a complete lack of understanding of the matter," Zakaria said.

He said the Indian media, based on the reported briefing by official quarters, called ICJ's letter dated 8 May, 2017, the day India filed its petition, to the Pakistan government as a "stay on Jadhav's execution".

"This is a lie. The ICJ noted that lie," he claimed.

He said the Indian petition at the ICJ was about Jadhav's entitlement to consular access.

"It is not about whether the ICJ can act as a court of appeal from Pakistani legal proceedings. That is why Khawar Qureshi informed the court that India cannot obtain from the court what it is seeking. He also told the court that India is using media to create a false impression about the case."

The spokesperson said India had failed despite reminders to provide information sought on 23 January by Islamabad on the basis of Jadhav's confession of spying and fomenting terror in Pakistan.

He termed the ICJ's decision to put on hold Jadhav's hanging as "nothing but usual".

Zakaria said that the ICJ stated clearly that its decision on provisional measures was not concerned with "jurisdiction/ merits" and it considered that Jadhav would not be executed until the full hearing.

"This is nothing unusual," Zakaria asserted.

He said that a full hearing will take place after the court sets down a timetable on 8 June at the Hague.

"We have given the court our arguments on merits and jurisdiction. It has not ruled on any of these arguments," he said.

Asserting that Pakistan's position in this matter has been made clear, Zakaria said, "We had sought information from India" on 23 January, 2017, on the basis of Jadhav's confession and statements. "India has not responded despite reminders," he said.

He also said that in the three previous cases in the ICJ, the request for release or acquittal was not granted by the court, which stated that it does not have the power to give out such orders.

Zakaria said that the case is also about whether Jadhav is entitled to consular access because of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and not about whether the ICJ can act as a court of appeal for Pakistani legal proceedings.

He claimed the "propaganda" that the Pakistani side did not counter the Indian argument related to the 2008 consular access agreement is also a "lie".

The ICJ ruling had triggered criticism of the Pakistan foreign office for its "poor handling" and also for its choice of attorney Khawar Qureshi, who presented Pakistan's case before the ICJ.

The ICJ has put a hold on the execution of Jadhav, who has been awarded capital punishment by a Pakistani military court on charges of fomenting terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jun 01, 2017 19:04 PM

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