Pakistan insists that only Pakistani lawyer can represent Kulbhushan Jadhav in the Islamabad High Court

As a larger bench of the Islamabad High Court is set to hear Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case on September 3, India has asked Pakistan to let the ex- Indian naval official be represented by an Indian lawyer.

“For a free and fair trial and in keeping with spirit of International Court of Justice’s judgment, we have asked that Jadhav be represented through an Indian lawyer,” Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday.

Pakistan insists that only Pakistani lawyer or he who is entitled to practice in the country’s courts can only be appointed as Jadhav’s lawyer. But India’s stand is that for a “free and fair trial” it is essential that the ex-Indian naval official who has been awarded death sentence in Pakistan for his alleged involvement in spying, should be represented by an Indian lawyer for filing a review petition.

India has accused Pakistan of pressurizing Jadhav not to file a review petition in the court. It has also blamed the country for not complying with the ICJ verdict. India has also accused Pakistan of not providing all necessary documents involved in this case, nor unimpeded consular access to Jadhav.

“It is important (for Pakistan) to address the core issues and they are: Provide all necessary documents involved in the case as well as provide unimpeded consular access to Jadhav,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

Jadhav was arrested by Pakistani security agencies in Balochistan in March 2016 and charged with involvement in spying. India rejected these allegations and said he was kidnapped by Pakistani operatives from the Iranian port of Chabahar, where he was running a business.