ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Wednesday said Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav was allowed to challenge his conviction but he had refused to avail the offer.

Speaking at a news conference here, Director General South Asia at the Foreign Office, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, and Additional Attorney General of Pakistan Ahmad Irfan said Pakistan had never violated any rules and norms.

“A petition for review and reconsideration can be filed by Kulbhushan Jadhav, his legally authorized representative or a consular officer of the Indian High Commission at Islamabad High Court. Pakistan has also offered to assist in arranging legal representative for the RAW spy,” Chaudhri said.

He said that Pakistan had offered second consular access to India. “Pakistan offered a meeting between Kulbhushan Jadhav with his wife and father,” he said. The senior diplomat recalled that the Indian spy was allowed to meet his family in the past also.

Indian Navy officer Jadhav was arrested on charges of espionage in Balochistan in March 2016 and sentenced to death by a military court a year later.

In July last year, the International Court of Justice ordered Pakistan to provide consular access to Jadhav and review his death sentence.

Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Pakistan enacted on May 20 - the International Court of Justice Review and Reconsideration Ordinance, 2020 - which allowed reviews petitions within a certain period of time.

“On June 17 we invited Jadhav to file a petition for the reconsideration of his conviction and offered him legal representation but he refused to file the petition and instead preferred to follow up on his pending mercy petition,” he said.

Pakistan, he said, was fully cognizant of its international obligations and committed to implementing the ICJ judgment in letter and spirit.

He expressed the hope that India will follow due legal course and cooperate with courts in Pakistan to give effect to the ICJ judgment.

The DG South Asia said that India had been committing state terrorism within Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan had shared evidence with the international community in this regard which also recognised that India had become a source of terrorism. He said we will continue to expose true Indian face before the world.”

Additional Attorney General Ahmed Irfan said Jadhav had been offered to meet his father on humanitarian grounds, adding that the Indian spy had refused to file review petition against his sentence.

“Pakistan has taken all steps regarding Kulbhushan case in the light of International Court of Justice’s decision. Our law allows to review the decision but Kulbhushan has refused to avail this right,” he said.

Ahmed Irfan said that Pakistan was well informed about its duties and ready to act as per ICJ instructions. 

On March 25, 2016, the Inter-Services Public Relations had released the confessional statement of Jadhav where he claimed to be a serving Indian Navy officer.  “By 2002, I commenced intelligence operations. In 2003, I established a small business in Chabahar in Iran,” he admitted. “As I was able to achieve undetected existence and visits to Karachi in 2003 and 2004. Having done some basic assignments within India for RAW, I was picked up by RAW in 2013 end”.

He said that his purpose was to meet Baloch insurgents and carry out “activities with their collaboration”.

On April 8, 2017, ISPR lodged a first information report against him whereas on April 11, 2017, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa had confirmed death sentence of Jadhav who was tried through Field General Court Martial under Pakistan Army Act. He was tried under section 59 of Pakistan Army Act1952 and Section III of official Secret Act of 1923.

FGCM found Kulbushan Sudhir Yadhav guilty of all the charges. He confessed before a Magistrate and the Court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organize espionage and sabotage activities aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.

On May 8, 2017, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denying consular access to Jadhav. On May 18, 2017, the ICJ stayed the execution pending the final judgment on the case and on July 13, 2018, ICJ stayed it again.

On June 22, 2017, Jadhav gave a second statement where he confessed to carrying out subversive activities in Balochistan.

On February 22, 2019, The ICJ reserved its judgment in Jadhav case whereas they are going to rule the verdict today on July 17, 2019.

On July 17, 2019, the ICJ had rejected remedies sought by India, including annulment of military court decision convicting Kulbhushan Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.

Announcing the verdict Judge Abdulqavi Ahmed Yousaf asked Pakistan to review the death sentence for an alleged Indian spy, saying Islamabad violated his rights to consular visits.

The court, in its verdict, rejected a number of Indian demands including annulment of military court decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.

The tribunal in The Hague ordered an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav.”

The judge remarked that Pakistan and India were signatories of the Vienna Convention. “A continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav,” the court ruled.

The court ordered that the Indian national cannot be handed over to India. “Kulbhushan will remain in Pakistan’s custody,” it had ruled.

Mercy petition in Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav’s case is a separate issue than the review petition, the foreign office said yesterday.

Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said in a statement that Pakistan had invited India to file a review and reconsideration petition after refusal by Commander Jadhav to do so.

The spokesperson elaborated that mercy petition in Commander Jadhav case is a separate process that has nothing to do with the review and reconsideration. “The review and reconsideration petition can be filed by (a) Commander Jadhav himself, (b) legally authorized representative, or (c) a consular officer of the Indian High Commission. While Commander Jadhav’s mercy petition is still pending, India is invited to file review and reconsideration petition to give effect to the Judgment of the International Court of Justice,” she said.

She added: “The foregoing has been conveyed to India through diplomatic channels as well.”