Pakistan’s double-standards in its dealing with Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case was once again on display after the authorities in Islamabad told the Indian side that only a Pakistani can represent him in the court. This announcement came even as Pakistan said that it is in the process of taking further legal steps in Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case.
In a tweet last month, the Pakistani army had said that “various legal options for review and reconsideration” for Kulbhushan Jadhav are being considered and “final status shall be shared in due course of time”.
During the consular access given to India on September 2, 2019, a power of attorney was signed by Jadhav under which he has allowed the Indian high commission in Islamabad to represent him for further legal recourse.
However, as per reports, the Pakistani authorities have stated that only a Pakistani will be allowed to represent Jadhav in court.
The Pakistani army also dismissed reports of amendment in Pakistan Army Act so that Jadhav can appeal in a civil court on the military court’s order.
Incidentally, media reports had stated that the government of Pakistan is in the process of amending its Army Act in accordance with the decision by the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. Reportedly, the laws were to be amended to allow Kulbhushan Jadhav to file an appeal in a civilian court in Pakistan.
As per existing laws under Pakistan’s Army Act, Kulbhushan Jadhav was forbidden from filing an appeal in Pakistan’s civilian courts. However, after the ICJ gave its verdict in India’s favour and stayed the death sentence pronounced for Jadhav, and further allowing consular access to India, the ICJ had asked Pakistan to allow Jadhav to file an appeal in civilian court.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) headquartered in The Hague, The Netherlands had in July directed Pakistan to stay Jadhav’s execution and allow him consular access. Based on ICJ’s verdict in a 15-1 decision on July 17, Pakistan had on July 30 sent its first proposal to India but with 2 riders attached. One that Pakistani security personnel will be present during the meeting and second there will be CCTV cameras present in the room.
After the ICJ verdict stayed the execution and allowed India consular access, India had declared that it will now push for shifting Jadhav’s case to a civilian court, to ensure he gets proper legal representation.
After the consular access was finally granted in September, India has stated that Jadhav is under extreme pressure by Pakistan to parrot a false narrative.