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India urges Pak to release Jadhav: Country will keep pursuing the matter, says Venkaih


NEW DELHI: A day after ICJ at The Hague snubbed Pakistan by suspending the death sentence served to Kulbhushan Jadhav by its military court, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Thursday urged Islamabad to release and repatriate Jadhav forthwith.

Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu exuded hope that the government of India and the country will keep pursuing the matter till Kulbhushan Jadhav, held in Pakistan custody since 2016, is discharged and released.

“We once again call upon Pakistan to release and repatriate Jadhav forthwith,” Dr Jaishankar said in identical statements made in both Houses of Parliament.

Dr Jaishankar also said – the government of India will “vigorously continue” to make efforts to ensure Jadhav’s safety and well being as well as his early return to India.

As soon as the Minister made his statement in the Rajya Sabha, Chairman M Venkaiah said – “I am very happy that the entire House is together in welcoming the ICJ judgment. Hope we will pursue till Shri Kulbhushan is discharged and released”. In Lok Sabha, Speaker Om Birla also welcomed the verdict.

External Affairs Minister said that – “The ICJ has declared that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Shri Jadhav without further delay of his rights and to provide India consular access to him”.

He said that the Court unanimously found that it had jurisdiction on the matter and by a vote of 15-1, pronounced on the other key aspects of the case. The dissenting Judge was from Pakistan, he noted. The EAM further said the ICJ pronounced that Pakistan had breached relevant obligations under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

“It did so by not notifying India without delay of the detention of Mr Jadhav, thereby depriving us of the right to render consular assistance. Pakistan was also found to have deprived India of the right to communicate with him, have access to him, visit him in detention and arrange his legal representation”, Dr Jaishanakar said.

The Court declared that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Mr Jadhav without further delay of his rights and to provide India consular access to him.

It stated that the appropriate reparation, in this case, was for Pakistan to provide, by means of its own choosing, review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav, the Minister told the lawmakers in both the Houses.

It bears noting that the Court has re-emphasized that the review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence must be effective, Dr Jaishankar said.

“A continued stay of execution, in the judgment of the Court, constitutes an indispensable condition for the process of effective review and reconsideration,” he said.

The EAM informed both the Houses that in 2017, Government made a commitment in Parliament to undertake all steps necessary to protect the interests and welfare of Jadhav.

“The Government has made untiring efforts in seeking his release, including through legal means in the International Court of Justice”, he stated.

The government statement also lauded the role of all those who are involved in taking up the cause of Jadhav, who was ‘arrested’ by Pakistan in 2016, and made special mention of the senior lawyer Harish Salve, who represented India and Jadhav in the ICJ.

He said the verdict of the International Court of Justice is not only a vindication for Jadhav but also for all those who believe in the rule of law.

External Affairs Minister said Kulbhushan Jadhav is innocent “from the charges leveled against him”.

“His forced confession without legal representation and due process will not change the reality. We

“We once again call upon Pakistan to release and repatriate Jadhav forthwith”.

Welcoming the International Court of Justice verdict, Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday said “truth and justice’ have prevailed.

In a tweet, PM Modi congratulated the ICJ for a “verdict based on extensive study of facts’.

He further has said: “I am sure Jadhav will get justice. Our government will always work for safety and welfare of every Indian”.

External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar on Wednesday evening also spoke to the Jadhav family. Earlier at The Hague in the Netherlands, the ICJ verdict on Wednesday by 15-1 suspended the death sentence on Jadhav slapped by Pakistani military court. Congress party in its official Twitter handle described the court development and the verdict as a “big win” for India.


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