New Delhi: As the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has constituted a bench to hear the plea submitted by the federal government against Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence on August 3, India said that Pakistani authorities’ actions with regard to the ordinance ‘‘expose the farcical nature of their entire approach to this’’and ‘‘we reserve our position in this matter which includes the right to avail of further remedies’’.

The federal government, under the Presidential Ordinance, has appointed a legal representative for Jadhav, who will be presenting his case before the IHC. Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who will be hearing the petition on Jadhav’s case, heads the bench.

In reply to the question that ‘‘Pakistan on its own has approached the Islamabad high court for review. What will be India’s next step? Will India approach the ICJ?’’, Anurag Srivastava, Spokesperson, ministry of external affairs said, ‘‘We have already detailed out how Pakistan has blocked India's attempts to seek remedies. We had also brought out how Pakistan is in violation of the ICJ judgement as well as their own ordinance. We had described how they have not provided unhindered, unimpeded and unconditional access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, how they have not provided documents requested by us, their actions with regard to the ordinance, all of which expose the farcical nature of their entire approach to this.’’

‘‘We have also explained what is our position in this as of now, which is that we reserve our position in this matter and which includes the right to avail of further remedies and we will also reiterate that we stand committed to protect the life of our national Kulbhushan Jadhav,’’ he added.

To another question that ‘‘on 5th of August, on completion of one year of the removal of Article 370 Pakistan is gearing up to initiate propaganda on a large scale and take this issue to the international platform. What will be India’s policy in this regard?’’, Srivastava said, ‘‘Pakistan cannot divert the world’s attention through such antics from its policy of cross border terrorism which threaten the lives of common people in India. 5th August is a landmark day that saw removal of obstacles in the economic and social development of the UTs of J&K and Ladakh.’’

However, after the government’s proposed ordinance to facilitate Kulbhushan Jadhav file a review plea against his death sentence by a Pakistan military court was passed by the Lower House of the National Assembly amid uproar and protest by the opposition benches, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has constituted a bench to hear the plea submitted by the federal government against Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence on August 3.

The federal government had approached the IHC on July 22, stating that Jadhav, the "Indian spy", who it claimed had been involved in several terrorist activities in Pakistan, had refused to file a plea against his sentence, adding that Jadhav cannot appoint a lawyer in Pakistan without assistance from India.

THE STATUS OF DISENGAGEMENT ON LAC

In reply to another question – ‘‘Is it true as claimed by China that the disengagement process is almost complete?’’, Srivastava said that as conveyed after 17th meeting of the Working Mechanism the two sides reviewed the situation in the India-China border areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western sector. They agreed that early and complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and de-escalation from India-China border areas in accordance with bilateral agreement and protocols and full restoration of peace and tranquility was essential for smooth overall development of bilateral relations. This was also the agreement reached between the two Special Representatives, NSA and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in their conversation on 5th July.

‘‘There has been some progress made towards this objective but the disengagement process has as yet not been completed. The Senior Commanders of the two sides will be meeting in the near future to work out steps in this regard. As we have stated earlier, the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas is the basis of our bilateral relationship. Therefore, we expect that the Chinese side will sincerely work with us for complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas at the earliest as agreed by the two Special Representatives,’’ the MEA spokesperson concluded.