India is ready to go extra miles to seek remedies for the safe release of ex-Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who is facing death penalty in Pakistan for his alleged role in espionage

As Islamabad High Court has formed a special bench headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah to hear the case of India death row convict Kulbhushan Jadhav from next week, India, putting on a brave face, said it was committed to protect the life of the ex-Indian Navy officer.

“We stand committed to protect the life of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in a weekly online press briefing on Thursday.

In a unilateral move, Pakistan has also appointed a lawyer for Kubhushan Jadhav.

“We reserve our position in the matter which includes the right to avail of further remedies,” MEA spokesperson said.

In July 2019, The Hague-based International Court of Justice in its ruling said Pakistan must undertake an effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav and also grant consular access to India without further delay.

Since then India has requested to Pakistani authorities umpteen number of times for “unhindered, unimpeded and unconditional Consular access” to Kulbhushan Jadhav, but such requests have never been fulfilled. Nor Indian authorities’ demand for relevant documents linked with Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case has been fulfilled.

However, continuing with its “farcical nature of approach” towards the ex-Indian naval officer who has been convicted by Pakistan’s military court for his alleged spying activity in Pakistan, the Imran Khan government enacted an ordinance called the “International Court of Justice Review and Reconsideration Ordinance 2020” on May 20.

Under this ordinance a petition for the review of the military court’s decision can be made to Islamabad High Court through an application within 60 days of its promulgation. It was in this background, Islamabad High Court on July 30 constituted a two-member bench to hear the review petition filed by the Pakistan government in Kulbhushan Jadhav's case.