Indian Spy Kulbhustan’s Case

By Sajjad Shaukat

Pakistans’ lawyer Khawar Qureshi is dealing with the case of Indian Spy Kulbhushan Yadhav in the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ). ICJ has fixed February 18, 2019-the date for hearing of his case.

Being a terrorist, Kulbhushan’s case does not fall under Vienna Convention that is why, counselor access was not granted to him and his fair trial was done under the military court, which is challengeable in any court of Pakistan.

During investigations, it was proved that that Kalbushan Jadhav, alias Hussain Mubarak Patel was serving Commander of Indian Navy and was working with the Indian intelligence agency RAW. He was apprehended on March 3, 2016 after he illegally crossed over into Pakistan from the Pakistan-Iran border. He was found in possession of an Indian passport issued by Government of India on May 12, 2015 and was valid until May 11, 2024.

Kalbushan Jadhav confessed that he is a resident of Mumbai, India, and was still serving in Navy and his retirement is due in 2022. He is responsible for espionage, sabotage and terrorism in Pakistan and has been tried according to the law of the land, in a fully transparent manner by the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under section 59 of Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section 3 of Official Secret Act of 1923.

He also confessed before a magistrate and the court that he was tasked by RAW, to plan, coordinate and organize espionage and sabotage activities aimed at destabilizing and waging war against Pakistan. His activities resulted in the loss of many lives and damage to property.

However, Indian role in Pakistan became naked after the arrest of Kulbhushan Yadav. In a video statement, Kulbhushan openly admitted that he was the serving agent of RAW in Balochistan province, and during his stay, he contacted various Baloch separatist leaders and insurgents, including Dr Allah Nazar Baloch to execute the task to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC). Yadav admitted that he spied for India and was “assigned with the task to create unrest in Karachi and Balolchitan…to destabilize Pakistan…he was captured, while heading Iran.” He also revealed that he was funding Baloch separatists along with other terrorists.

In this context, while addressing a joint press conference with the then Federal Minister for Information Pervaiz Rasheed, the then Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lt. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa said on March 29, 2016, “Kulbushan Yadav’s arrest is a rare case that does not happen very often.” He disclosed that Yadav was an active officer of the Indian Navy prior to his joining RAW. He also served as a scrap dealer and had a jewelry business in Chahbahar, Iran, after he joined RAW in 2013.

Although in the past too, various agents of Indian secret agency RAW were arrested in Pakistan, yet the case of Kulbushan Yadav has exposed the real face of India’s ruthless terrorism not only in Pakistan, but also in other regional countries, as New Delhi has, openly, been trying to save Kulbushan from the execution.

On April 10, 2017, a Field General Court Martial—under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, and Official Secrets Act, 1923—awarded death sentence to Jadhav for espionage and sabotage. Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa ratified the sentencing by the army tribunal. Kulbushan has since been on the death row.

Pakistan has repeatedly requested India for assistance in the investigation process however; no such request had been accepted. Subsequently, India took the case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which after the oral hearing ruled on May 18 2017 to grant provisional measures halting the execution of Commander Kulbushan, pending a final judgment of the court.

Islamabad respects the sanctity of the international institutions. It was in this spirit that Pakistan attended the proceeding of the ICJ at a short notice. As per the directives of the ICJ, New Delhi was required to submit its Memorial in the Court on September 13, 2017, while Pakistan to submit its Counter Memorial on December 13, 2017.

Reports said that Islamabad has submitted its reply with ICJ in the case pertaining to Indian terrorist Kulbhushan Jadhav. This was the second reply which Pakistan submitted, addressing all the questions posed by New Delhi—the previous reply was submitted by Pakistan on December 13, 2017.

Reports also suggested that the 400-page-long reply was submitted to the ICJ by Dr Fareeha Baig.

The ICJ was also hearing an Indian petition, challenging Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to the spy. A memorial by India and counter-memorial by Pakistan had been submitted in the case.

Meanwhile, the lawyer who is representing Pakistan in the Kulbushan Jadhav case in the ICJ, Khawar Qureshi has claimed that evidence has been discovered that the Indian spy used his passport issued by the Indian authorities to travel to and fro from India at least 17 times.

In an interview with a local media, Qureshi said, “The inference is that India gave Jadhav the false Muslim identity for improper purposes. India’s answer has been to say it does not need to answer this point…India says Jadhav recently retired from the Indian Navy and suggests he was kidnapped from Iran and smuggled into Pakistan to extract a false confession. India says the entire legal process against him in Pakistan was unfair, and demands that the ICJ at least orders his acquittal or release. India says Jadhav should have been given immediate consular access…Pakistan says Jadhav was a naval commander who was working for Indian spy agency RAW when arrested. The ICJ has been asked to consider whether individuals suspected of espionage had in practice often been excluded from the right to a consular access-an argument never raised or considered previously. The ICJ has now exceptionally invited all states that signed the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) to respond to Pakistan’s argument on this point, which is based upon the material practice of the US, Soviet Union and China, including the famous Gary Powers case (given the Hollywood treatment in The Bridge of Spies), as well as commentaries from experts in this field.”

Replying to a question, he added: “I submitted on May 15, 2017, and repeat, the ICJ has never ordered acquittal or release (as India at least seeks), and all its previous decisions indicate it would never do so.”

It is noteworthy that reliable sources explain, “the Kulbhushan enterprise was directly responsible for 1345 Killings of innocent Pakistanis and injury to 7500, the financial cost to Pakistan has been approximately 3 billion USDs mainly in lost business and bad perception affecting tourism, sports (cricket), exports and imports; Indirect cost may not be ever known. What about the kith and Kin of Pakistanis, who perished due to the Kulbhushan enterprise and the trauma suffered by loved ones? Spy is a benign name and Kulbhushan was a mass murderer with the blood of 1345 Pakistanis dripping through his fingers; the Pakistani ‘liberrati’ and champions of human rights may comment on the plight of families whose bread earners perished in the heinous enterprise called Kulbhushan Yadav.”

Despite all of this, showing optimistic approach, on humanitarian ground, Pakistan allowed mother and wife of Indian convicted spy Kulbhushan to meet him. His mother and wife of visited Pakistan on December 25, 2017 and met him at the office of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad amid strict security. Chetankul Jadhav, the wife of the Indian spy, was given an alternate pair of shoes to wear after her shoes were removed.

In this regard, Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal had said that Chetankul’s shoes were taken over after authorities felt there was something fixed in them. The shoes of Jadhav’s wife were kept for inspection, while all other belongings, including jewelry, were returned. Authorities were ascertaining whether the metallic object in the shoes was a camera or a recording chip.

Surprisingly, a suspicious metal chip was detected in Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife shoes.

The FO also added that India “has levelled allegations after 24 hours of the visit” and “Pakistan does not want to get involved in a war of words.”

In fact, as part of the usual practice, India’s some high officials and media in connivance the mother and wife of the convicted spy Jadhav had started a propaganda campaign against Pakistan regarding the meeting.

In this respect, The Times of India reported, “Angered by the treatment meted out to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife in Pakistan, a relative of the former Indian Navy officer said that the family was even more depressed than it had been before the visit…the relative told PTI…The treatment received by Kulbhushan’s mother and wife from Pakistan was not good at all…We are even more depressed now than we were before the visit.”

While, after returning from Pakistan, the wife and mother of the convicted spy met with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
According to reports in the Indian media, the meeting was held at Swaraj’s residence following which Kulbushan’s mother and wife were taken to the Ministry of External Affairs for a debriefing.

Hence, mother and wife of Kulbushan had been forced by the Indian officials to show maltreatment with them in relation to the meeting.

On the other side, Pakistan’s FO Spokesperson stated that the meeting lasted almost 40 minutes. Indian diplomats, including Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh, accompanied Jadhav’s family and were present during the meeting, which was conducted in a specially prepared room. Foreign Office Director India desk Dr Fareha was also present during the meeting.

Kulbushan’s mother had also thanked the Pakistan Foreign Office for allowing the meeting.

The roads leading from and to the FO building were closed to traffic for the meeting. Walkthrough gates were also installed outside the FO building amid strict security measures.

Nonetheless, as regards the case of Indian Spy Kulbhushan Yadhav, Pakistan’s approach is optimistic, while that of India is pessimistic.

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