ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has once again contacted India over convicted spy Kubushan Jadhav’s case in connection with legal assistance to the death-row prisoner.

Speaking at a weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that Pakistan had contacted the Indian government again over the matter of appointing legal representative for spy of intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing.

The spokesperson said that the move came under the light of Islamabad High Court directives. “We are waiting for the response of Indian authorities on this matter,” she said. Earlier, IHC had directed the government to re-contact India for appointment of a legal representative for Kulbhushan Jadhav.

On July 2, 2020, Pakistan had decided to grant third consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav following his refusal to file review petition against his sentence.

Aisha Farooqui said the first consular access under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 was earlier provided by Pakistan on second September last year. She said the mother and wife of commander Jadhav were also allowed to meet him on December 25, 2017.

Aisha Farooqui said two consular officers of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad were provided unimpeded and uninterrupted consular access to Commander Jadhav.

The spokesperson said the fact remains that in one year the HN Security Council discussed the Kashmir dispute on three occasions and received briefings from UNMOGIP representative and UN Secretariat’s Political Affairs representatives “is a clear testimony that it is neither an internal issue of India nor a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India but an internationally recognized dispute that awaits the final settlement in accordance with UNSC resolutions.”

Pakistan, she said, was a founding member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. “We have had longstanding fraternal and cooperative relations with the OIC member states. Jammu and Kashmir dispute and Palestine are two key issues on the agenda of the OIC since its inception. The OIC has consistently supported Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir established in 1994, is a manifestation of this consistent support and has actively contributed to the advancement of the Kashmir cause,” she added.

Since 5th August 2019, she said, Pakistan had closely worked with the OIC Secretary General and other brotherly countries of OIC.

“Three meetings of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir have been convened during the last one year, two of which were at ministerial level and issued strong ministerial communiqués deploring the grave violations of the human rights in IIOJK, demanding from Indian to rescind its illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, and calling for the resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council’s Resolutions,” she said.

The people of Pakistan, the spokesperson said, had more expectations from the OIC and would like it to play a leading role in raising the Kashmir issue internationally. In this regard, our efforts will continue and we hope there will be further forward movement.

Regarding the relations with Saudi Arabia, she said, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have strong historic and fraternal relations.

“The people of Pakistan have deep respect for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Pakistan remains deeply committed to the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia. The landmark visit of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman in February 2019 further cemented our close brotherly relations and charted new avenues of cooperation in trade, investment and other fields,” she added.

To a question, she said, Pakistan’s role in facilitating and taking forward the Afghan peace process and reconciliation was evident.

“Pakistan has raised this matter several times with all interlocutors also that spoilers would try to obstruct the peace process should there be any delay in implementation of the peace agreement,” she said.

The spokesperson added: “We are fully cognizant of this and have kept all stakeholders and interlocutors aware of the fact that time is of essence in this. Regarding APAPPS, this is very much a part of the conversation as I have also mentioned earlier in my briefings. This is a bilateral framework that gives content and substance to strengthening our bilateral relations across different fields and we hope that an early meeting on this will be convened. Both sides are working on finalizing the dates for this.”

Regarding the sentenced prisoners and the MoU signed with China, she said: “Pakistan and China have ratified the treaty on transfer of sentenced persons. The transfer of sentenced persons will take place after the instrument of ratification has been exchanged between both sides and we have started that process for the exchange of instrument of ratification.”

She rejected back-channel contacts between Pakistan and India. “Not at all. Not in the circumstances that we are observing. Not in the face of the brutality that the Indian security forces have unleashed on the innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir,” she maintained.