There is enough ground for justifying India’s labelling of the road travelled by Pakistan to take Kulbhushan Jadhav to the gallows as farcical.
Let us take you back now to when Jadhav was arrested, that’s what Pakistan says and what actually happened was an abduction.
It has been a year and two months since Kulbhushan Jadhav was abducted by Pakistani officials. That happened on March 3, 2016 in Iran, where he ran a shipping business after retiring from the Navy.
After 26 days in Pakistani custody, Pakistani officials released a video on March 29, 2016, which they claimed was the confessional statement of Jadhav. India immediately asked for consular access to Jadhav and continued to make the request several times, but it was constantly denied.
In Dec 2016, Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s foreign affairs adviser while addressing a full Senate chamber, said the dossier on Jadhav contained mere statements and did not have any conclusive evidence.
However in a move that throws light on the working of the Pakistani deep state, a fortnight before pronouncing its death sentence on Jadhav, Pakistan narrowed the conditions under which it accepts the International Court of Justice’s compulsory jurisdiction.
This happened on March 29 this year and then on April 10, Pakistan sentenced Kulbhushan Jadhav to death for espionage and subversive activities.
India which had constantly been asking for consular access received this information from the media. The very next day, the Parliament of India rose in one voice condemning the Pakistani action.
The External Affairs Minister told the house India will save Kulbhushan Jadhav. India worked quickly and on April 26 handed over an appeal to Pakistan in the name of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother, an appeal that Pakistan has still not entertained.
The next day External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to her counterpart Sartaj Aziz and requested that Kulbhushan’s family be granted visas.
With India’s requests and appeals falling on deaf ears, India approached the International Court of Justice and obtained an urgent stay on May 9 on Jadhav’s execution. This timely action was needed because the 40 day appeal period on Kulbhushan Jadhav ends on May 19.
Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: Timeline
• March 3, 2016: Jadhav abducted by Pakistani officials
• March 29, 2016: Pakistan releases a confessional video of Jadhav
• December 2016: Sartaj Aziz says insufficient evidence on Kulbhushan Jadhav
• March 29: Maleeha Lodhi PR, PAK@UN changes declaration at ICJ
• April 10: Pakistan sentences Kulbhushan for death
• April 11: Parliament rises in unison; EAM says will save son Kulbhushan
• April 26: India files appeal in Kulbhushan case
• April 27: EAM speaks to Sartaj Aziz; requests Kulbhushan’s family be granted visa
• May 9, 2017: ICJ stays Jadhav’s execution
• May 15 2017: The ICJ hear the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav as India and Pakistan presents their argument in the trial
• May 19: 40 day appeal period on Kulbhushan ends