Monday Dec 25 2017

Kulbhushan Jadhav is the face of Indian terrorism in Pakistan: FO


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal on Monday said that convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav is the face of Indian terrorism in Pakistan. 

The remarks by the FO came after Jadhav was allowed to meet his mother and wife earlier in the day. The meeting was held at the FO in the federal capital under strict security. 

Faisal, during a press conference, reiterated that Jadhav is a terrorist, spy and a saboteur who was caught "red-handed" and was conducting terror attacks in Balochistan and Karachi.

He added that the spy was involved in the attack on Mehran Airbase, the assassination of SSP Chaudhry Aslam and other attacks and bombings in Pakistan. 

The FO spokesperson further said India has been unwilling to answer questions pertaining to the spy and India's "silence is telling". 

During the press conference, Faisal also said that the meeting should not be construed as Jadhav being provided consular access.

"I will state this categorically, this meeting was not consular access being given to Commander Jadhav."

Elaborating on the meeting, Faisal said an Indian diplomat was present during the meeting but was not allowed to speak or listen in to the conversation between the convicted spy and his family, and could only observe the meeting. 

"We upheld our promise and all of our commitments. The meeting was promised for 30 minutes and was extended to 40 minutes after Jhadav requested 10 minutes more, hence we increased it."

"The meeting was very present and they talked openly. I will not go into further details. We also had an officer present," added Faisal. 

Faisal clarified that the meeting was not the last meeting between Jhadav and his family, adding that the decision for consusal access to the convicted spy would be taken at a later date. 

Speaking of Pakistan's earlier offer to allow the family of Jhadav to address the media, the FO spokesperson expressed regret that the family did not participate in the press conference. 

"We had offered Commander Jhadav's family to meet the media, including Indian media."

He further stated that India was not willing to let the family speak with the media and the FO was willing to ensure transparency and get answers to "many questions which Pakistan seeks answers to".

Displaying a slide of the convicted spy's recent medical report, Faisal said he is in good health and the report states that his BMI and other health factors are normal.  

"The visit was on purely humanitarian grounds," reiterated the FO spokesperson. 

Concluding his press conference, the FO spokesperson said Pakistan had not agreed to more than three conditions suggested by India. 

"All decisions were according to law and in Pakistan's interest."

The meeting between the Indian spy and his family started at 2:18pm and lasted almost 40 minutes.

Indian diplomats accompanied Jadhav's family during the meeting. Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh was present during the meeting, which was conducted in a specially prepared room via an intercom through a glass partition.

Foreign Office Director India desk Dr Fariha was also present during the meeting.

Jadhav's mother thanked the Pakistan Foreign Office for allowing the meeting.

ICJ proceedings

On April 10, 2017, Pakistan sentenced the RAW agent to death for carrying out espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan and Karachi.

In a reaction to the move, Pakistan’s relations with neighbouring India tensed, and New Delhi approached the ICJ to hear the case.

On May 18, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to halt the execution of Jadhav until a final decision was made in the proceedings.

India then moved the ICJ to give it six months to file pleadings in the case, which the United Nations’ judicial organ had turned down in June this year. Later, New Delhi submitted its memorial (arguments) to the ICJ on September 13.

On December 13, Pakistan submitted its reply to the ICJ, dismissing India's stance in the case of the convicted spy.

In its counter-memorial, Pakistan stated that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.

The reply also stated that Jadhav, who was a serving officer of the Indian Navy, does not fall under the purview of the Vienna Convention.

The case remains sub judice.

Arrest, confession, sentencing

Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, was arrested on March 3, 2016 in a ‘counter-intelligence operation’ from Mashkel area of Balochistan for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities in Pakistan.

The incarcerated RAW agent, in his video statement, confessed to involvement in sabotage and espionage inside Pakistan, which has also been the crux of Islamabad’s case in the ICJ.

On April 10, a Field General Court Martial — under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, and Official Secrets Act, 1923 — awarded death sentence to Jadhav for espionage and sabotage.

Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa ratified the sentencing by the army tribunal.

Jadhav has since been on the death row.