Kulbhushan’s Row: Iran Demands Access To Ex-Navy Officer


New Delhi: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) served a body blow to Pakistan asking it not to carry out the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav , the Indian  citizen arrested on charges of espionage. Now, Iran has approached Islamabad for access to the ex-Indian Navy officer.

Pakistan has been claiming that Jadhav was arrested fron Balochistan on March 3, 2016 and that he entered Pakistan through Iran. India maintains that Jadhav was on a business trip to Iran when he was kidnapped and taken to Balochistan.

Iranian Council General Muhammad Rafi said that his government has asked Pakistan to grant an access to Jadhav for interrogation. “No development has been made over the issue so far, negotiations are underway,” Rafi said.

In a late night development on Tuesday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) asked Pakistan to not execute Kulbhushan Jadhav , who was awarded death sentence by the country’s military court on charges of espionage on April 10.

The Hague headquartered world court said, “Republic of India instituted proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, accusing the latter of ‘egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations’ in the matter of the detention and trial of an Indian national, Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan.” (ICJ’s full statement )

Senior lawyer Harish Salve, who represented India at the ICJ said that court’s ruling is binding on Pakistan. The court is likely to take up the case next on May 15.

The development is being seen as a major diplomatic win for India, which has been pushing for Jadhav’s release through all channels.

New Delhi has also warned Islamabad of ‘dire consequences’ while calling Jadhav ‘s sentencing as ‘pre-meditated murder’. A repeated request for consular access to Jadhav has been turned down by Pakistan.