India is still waiting for Pakistan to meet the core issues in the case involving Kulbhushan Jadhav -- the Indian national sentenced to death in Pakistan on charges of espionage -- the Foreign Ministry has said. Though Pakistan has extended the time limit of the ordinance, which gives India time to file a case against the death sentence, it is yet to allow Indian lawyers to represent Mr Jadhav, which is one of the key issues. To overcome Pakistan's objection, India now wants to appoint a Queen's Counsel and eminent Indian lawyer Harish Salve fits the bill.
Queen's Counsels are recognised in almost all courts around the world and Mr Salve has defended India's position on consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav in the International Court of Justice.
Answering questions on the issue today, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, "The government of Pakistan has not been able to fulfill its obligations on implementation of the ICJ (International Court of Justice) judgment in letter and spirit. It has not yet addressed the core issues, which includes provision of all documents related to the case, providing unconditional and unimpeded consular access to Kulbhusan Jadhav and appointment of an Indian lawyer or a Queen's Counsel to ensure free and fair trial."
Since his death sentence by a military court in 2017, Pakistan has allowed consular access to Mr Jadhav only twice. The last meeting took place in July.
Despite agreeing to unimpeded consular access, Pakistan officers remained present during the Indian officials' meeting with Kulbhushan Jadhav in Islamabad, the ministry said.
"Pakistani officials with an intimidating demeanour were present in close proximity of Jadhav and Consular Officers despite the protests of the Indian side. Jadhav himself was visibly under stress and indicated that clearly to the consular officers," the ministry had said in a statement.
The ministry had also said that the consular officers were prevented from obtaining Mr Jadhav's written consent for arranging his legal representation.
The Pakistani lawyer appointed by Islamabad High Court was not provided copies of documents by the authorities, completely undermining the judgment of the International Court of Justice on the case, India said..
In July last year, the International Court of Justice said Pakistan must review the death sentence of Mr Jadhav, a former Naval officer who was arrested in March 2016. Pakistan accused him of "espionage" -- a charge India has rubbished.
The International court also agreed with India's stand that Pakistan had violated the Vienna convention by denying consular access to him after his conviction in a "farcical" closed trial.