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India looking for escape in Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Foreign Office

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday categorically rejected incorrect and misleading assertions made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) regarding the legal proceedings in the case of Indian Naval Commander Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, ARY NEWS reported quoting a Foreign Office spokesman.

In a statement issued today, Foreign Office Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that it was evident that by casting aspersions on the Indian High Commission’s own legal counsel, the Indian government is looking for an escape from the legal proceedings in Commander Jadhav case.

It said that the Government of India is reminded that in pursuance of the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan had invited the Indian high commission to meet with Kulbhushan Jadhav and appoint a lawyer on his behalf so that proceedings to review and reconsider his conviction could commence.

However, the foreign office said that during the course of diplomatic exchanges, the Indian High Commission refused to instruct a lawyer itself, as in their view this would amount to a waiver of India’s sovereign immunity.

Resultantly, the government of Pakistan was constrained to initiate proceedings for the appointment of a state counsel for Commander Jadhav.

During the course of the proceedings, the spokesman said that to show the discrepancy in the Indian position, the Attorney-General for Pakistan cited the case of Mr. Muhammad Ismail, an Indian national currently in custody in Pakistan, where the Indian High Commission had instructed Mr. Noon as its lawyer.

Read More: Our responsibility to ensure fair trial in Jadhav case: IHC CJ

“Contrary to the false statement by the MEA, no attempt was made to link the cases of Jadhav with another Indian prisoner Ismail,” he said adding that the two cases are and remain entirely distinct.

The foreign office said that a reference to the case of Mr. Ismail was only for purpose of showing the discrepancy and inconsistency in the Indian position.

It is reiterated that in line with the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan has already provided consular access to the Indian High Commission twice and has taken all necessary steps for effective review and reconsideration in the case.

The offer of third consular access is still there, the foreign office said while concluding the statement.

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