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Freeing Kulbhushan Jadhav from Pakistan is Narendra Modi’s test for International diplomacy

After the Navy-officer turned Businessman was sentenced death penalty by Pakistan in 2017, people had forgotten him but the actions of Indian authorities have now given hope to his family.

ICJ had ruled in July 2019 that Pakistan had violated Jadhav’s rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and stayed his execution while calling on Islamabad to take all steps for an “effective review and reconsideration” of his sentence, including “enacting appropriate legislation”.

Following which the first consular access was provided on September 2, 2019 during which India had complained about Pakistani interference. After almost a year, today India got consular access for the second time.

The development comes two days before a deadline to file a review petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) is set to expire. An ordinance was promulgated by the Imran Khan government on May 20, which allowed the Indian government, Jadhav and his legal representative to file a review petition in IHC within 60 days.

“India has been requesting for the unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional consular access to Shri Kulbhushan Jadhav.  On the basis of assurances provided our officials have proceeded for the meeting today. We will assess the situation after our officials return and provide a report,” said Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava during the weekly media briefing.

Pakistan has claimed the second consular access to Mr. Jadhav went as planned. But as per sources, Kulbhushan Jadhav was very stressed during the meet and Pakistan ISI officials were present in the meeting to keep a watch as was a secret camera.

The 50-year-old retired Indian Navy officer turned businessman was arrested in 2016 from the Iran Balochistan border by the Pakistan army and was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017.

Kulbhushan met his wife and mother in 2017

The situation of the man under the arrest of Pakistan army is quite imaginable considering he is an Indian and the diplomatic conditions between the countries have never been worse.

To bring back Kulbhushan, Narendra Modi might have to put in his best and use his diplomatic connections across the world otherwise the death of an innocent Indian man by the hands of rival country Pakistan will always act as the inability of India to protect its citizens on an International stance.

Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav?

  • Jadhav enrolled in the Indian National Defence Academy in 1987 and later joined the Indian Navy
  • After taking premature retirement from the Navy, he set up a business
  • His family currently stays in Mumbai
  • His father Sudhir Jadhav had retired as an Assistant Commissioner of Mumbai Police
  • In 2016, Kulbhushan Jadhav was reportedly arrested by Pakistan at the Iran border near Balochistan

Key Events of the Case:

  • After his arrest, Kulbhushan Jadhav was denied consular access by Pakistan
  • In April 2016, the Pakistani government slapped terrorism and sabotage charges against him
  • In March 2017, the Pakistan PM’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz said that Islamabad won’t extradite Jadhav
  • Jadhav was later tried in secret by the Pakistan Army for espionage and sabotage
  • India was given no prior information about the proceedings
  • Experts say that they fail to understand why Pakistan is in a hurry to hang him and why an open trial was not conducted