All eyes will be on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday (July 17) as the tribunal prepares to pronounce its verdict in the case relating to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in Pakistan.
The retired Indian Navy officer was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.
The ICJ on May 18, 2017, had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case after New Delhi approached the tribunal against Islamabad for denying consular access.
New Delhi had also challenged the “farcical trial” by the military court of Pakistan, demanding to revoke Jadhav’s death sentence and immediate release.
Here’s a timeline of the Jadhav case from his arrest in 2003 onward:
December 2003: Jadhav travels to Iran to set up a business, using Indian passport E6934766 that identified him as Hussein Mubarak Patel. He sets up a marine engine repair operation and purchases a dhow, the Kaminda.
March 3, 2016: Jadhav disappears from Iran. Pakistan claims he has been arrested inside its territory. India believes he was kidnapped from Iran.
March 25, 2016: India is formally informed by Pakistan of Jadhav’s arrest. It responds by moving the first of several requests for custodial access.
March 29, 2016: Pakistan releases a custodial confession in which Jadhav claims to be a serving Indian naval officer, working for the Research and Analysis Wing.
September 6, 2016: Pakistan files “supplementary” First Information Report naming 15 individuals as “accomplices and facilitators” of Jadhav, including National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, former Research and Analysis Wing chief Alok Joshi, former Naval chief’s wife Chetankul Jadhav and mother Avanti Jadhav.
September 21, 2016: Military court hearing Jadhav case convenes.
January 23, 2017: Islamabad writes to New Delhi, seeking assistance in investigating the Jadhav case, and saying its request for consular assistance “shall be considered in the light of Indian side’s response”. The letter seeks certified record of Jadhav’s cell phone for the last 10 years and certified copies of his bank accounts in his and his family’s name and statements of Indian high officials.
April 10, 2017: Jadhav sentenced to death by the military court in Pakistan. The same day, Islamabad reiterates its request for assistance in the investigation and repeats the offer of conditional consular access.
April 12, 2017: Pakistani media alleges Indian intelligence has kidnapped former Inter-Services Intelligence officer Lieutenant-Colonel Muhammad Habib Zahir in a bid to force a spy-swap.
April 27, 2017: Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj writes to Pakistan, asking Islamabad for certified copies of the charge sheet, proceedings of the court of enquiry, the summary of evidence in the case and the judgement itself. No reply is received.
June 19, 2017: India replies to Pakistan’s letter, noting no evidence had been provided by Pakistan to show his involvement in any act of terrorism and his purported confession clearly appeared to be coerced.
June 22, 2017: Pakistan states that a military court has rejected Jadhav’s appeal.
May 8, 2017: India moves to the International Court of Justice and receives an interim stay on Jadhav’s execution, pending final orders in the case.
October 26, 2017: Islamabad writes to New Delhi, offering to discuss Jadhav’s extradition to India. However, New Delhi has to accept Jadhav as a criminal under the laws of India.
December 25, 2017: Jadhav’s mother and wife are allowed to visit him in prison.