New Delhi: India on Thursday, June 17, said that the Pakistani municipal courts cannot be the arbiter on matters of Kulbhushan Jadhav and international law, and said it is high time for Islamabad to take "appropriate steps" to address the shortcomings in the ICJ (Review and Re-consideration) Bill.
"The Bill codifies the earlier Ordinance frankly with all its shortcomings. It does not create machinery to facilitate effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav's case as mandated by the judgment of the International Court of Justice," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told a virtual media briefing.
He said the ICJ had ruled that Pakistan was in "breach" of its international obligation because of failure to provide consular access to Jadhav. The Bill as passed by the Pak National Assembly invites the municipal courts in Pakistan to decide whether any prejudice has been caused to Jadhav for failure to provide consular access. This is a breach of the basic tenet. The municipal courts cannot be the arbiters on whether a state has fulfilled its obligation under international law," he said.
"We call upon Pakistan to take necessary steps to address the shortcomings in the Bill and to comply with the judgment of ICJ in letter and spirit," Bagchi said.
Indian authorities alleged that the Pakistani operatives picked up former naval personnel, Jadhav, from the Iranian port of Chabahar, where he was running a business.
The military court of Pakistan sentenced Jadhav to death on April 2017.
The ICJ had stayed the capital punishment at the request of India, and after a fierce legal battle, it had ruled in favor of Jadhav and India in July 2019.
The ICJ on July 17, 2019, by 15-1 verdict, had held Jadhav's conviction wrong.
On Pak and Kashmir:
Answering questions on Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's recent letter to the UN on Kashmir, MEA spokesperson Bagchi asserted that the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.
"No amount of questioning can change this reality. Also, cross-border terrorism is unacceptable and,
no amount of justification can make it acceptable," he said.
Jaishankar's Qatar visit and India's stance on Afghanistan
Answering questions, MEA spokesperson Bagchi said External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar visited Qatar recently, and as Qatar is involved in the Afghan peace process, the issue of Afghanistan was discussed in Minister's meetings with the Qatar leadership.
He further said, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan, Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, "happened to be in Doha during this period of EAM's visit, and he called on Dr. Jaishankar to brief him on recent developments regarding Afghanistan".
To a specific question on matters about the possibility of Pakistan's greater involvement in Afghanistan after US troops exit, the MEA spokesperson said, "Our position on the Afghan peace process is well known…We can only speak for ourselves. India has been pro-development, pro-democracy, pro-human rights, and pro-progress. It is for the people of Afghanistan to judge each of their partners on how the actions of these partners have affected the Afghan people".