Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: ‘Pakistan Has No Substantive Defence & Relevance’, Says Harish Salve

| February 18 , 2019 , 17:13 IST

Ex-solicitor general Harish Salve who represented India’s arguments on Monday in the case of Indian national Kulbhushan Jada before the top court at The Hague said, “Pakistan has no substantive defense. Pakistan hasn’t even divulged fundamental details of the so-called offense. Issues raised by Islamabad have no relevance."

Salve said, "Jadhav's continued custody without consular access should be declared unlawful. Pakistan is embarrassed to disclose the judgment in the Jadhav case, the charges against him, and the evidence. The story has always been strong on rhetoric and weak on facts."

He further said there are only two broad issues in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. The first issue relates to the construction of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. The second issue relates to relief. Restitutio in integrum is a basic principle.

Jadhav was accused of working for Indian intelligence services in the province bordering Afghanistan, where Islamabad has long accused India of backing separatist rebels. After a closed trial, he was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on April 10, 2017, on charges of “espionage, sabotage, and terrorism”.

India insists Jadhav was not a spy, and that he was kidnapped in Pakistan. The ICJ had ordered Pakistan to stay the execution till the adjudication of the case.

It has accused Islamabad of violating the Vienna Convention by failing to provide him with consular access, as well as breaking human rights laws. If Pakistan is unable to quash Jadhav’s death sentence, Islamabad should be found in violation of international law and treaties, and be told to “release the convicted Indian national forthwith”, India said. The ICJ’s decision will likely come months after this week’s hearings.

Pakistan will get its chance to make submissions on February 19. India will then reply on February 20 while Pakistan will make its closing submissions on February 21.