No deal or change in law for Kulbhushan Jadhav

Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson, Muhammad Faisal on Thursday said there was no deal with India on Kulbhushan Jadhav and also denied reports of change in its Army act.

There were several reports of the Imran Khan government working to modify its Army Act on Indian publications. They said if an amendment was done, it would allow Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal against his conviction on charges of espionage before a civilian court.

These reports were also rejected by the Pakistani military.

In 2017, Kulbhushan Jadhav was convicted by a military court in Pakistan and sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorism. The punishment was awarded by the Field General Court Martial (FGCM), a military court consisting of Pakistan Army officers.

Pakistan has claimed that Kulbhushan Jadhav was “arrested” from Balochistan by its security forces on March 3, 2016. However, India has rejected these charges and termed them baseless. India has maintained that Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is a former Indian Navy officer was kidnapped by Pakistan’s security forces when he was in Iran on a business trip.

In July this year, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague held that Pakistan violated its obligations under the Vienna Convention by not allowing India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. The court had directed Pakistan to provide appropriate remedies to him, including consular access.

The verdict was a major victory for India as the ICJ ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence awarded to Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.

The court had also ruled that Pakistan had violated India’s rights to consular visits after Kulbhushan Jadhav’s arrest. According to the ICJ, Pakistan “deprived India of the right to communicate with and have access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation.”

India had welcomed the verdict of the International Court of Justice, saying that the ruling of the court by a vote of 15-1 upheld India’s position in the case.

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