Kulbhushan Jadhav-The Unknown Story

Kulbhushan Jadhav-The Unknown Story

Author: S.Shaalini, VITSOL, Chennai.


International abduction for spying is existing and continuing even today in many parts of the world. A case between India and Pakistan for abducting Kulbhushan Jadhav of India by Pakistan under the pretext of spying and sabotaging for destabilizing the peace of Pakistan is being discussed in this article. As part of this article, an attempt has been made to cover details about Jadhav, crimes/allegations against him and how his act was viewed by Pakistan and India and lastly how ICJ handled the case and pronounced their verdict.


India and Pakistan have a long record of apprehending and trying ‘spies’. Pakistan reportedly named few of the Indian Spies Viz., Kashmir Singh, Sarabjit Singh, Kulbhushan Jadhav, Ravindra Kaushik etc.for espionage 1charges

Since Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case is being discussed even today, an attempt has been made to analyse Kulbhushan Jadhav’s story on all aspects. The uniqueness on this case is that both India and Pakistan claimed their Victory. Further, the role of ICJ’s verdict is very significant in this case and it overruled both countries claims.

FACT Sheet on Kulbhushan Jadhav:

Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav (also called Kulbhushan Yadav alias Hussain Mubarak Patel) is a resident of Powai, Mumbai , India. On the Occupation front, there was two different statements and according to Pakistani media, Jadhav joined the Indian National Defence Academy in 1987 and was commissioned in the engineering branch of the Indian Navy in 1991. Whereas, India states that he is an Ex-naval officer (Indian claim) and served for Indian Navy.

Pakistani media further stated that Jhadav began to collate information and intelligence within India after the 2001 attack on the Parliament of India. After serving for 14 years, he was inducted into intelligence operations in 2003 and set up a small business in Chabahar in Iran from where he made several unnoticed visits to Karachi and Balochistan.


a) Pakistan claimed that Jadhav entered Chabahar in Iran with a visa stamped on a fake passport numbered L9630722 in 2003 where he got a new identity of Hussain Mubarak Patel, from Maharashtra, India, carrying a Date of Birth as 30 August 1968.

b) He is accused of carrying out espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan at the behest of India’s intelligence agency

c) Pakistani officials claimed that his job was to destabilise Pakistan by strengthening a separatist movement in Balochistan and Karachi and also charged that he was instrumental in giving naval combat training to Baloch Separatists, in an attempt to target the ports of Gwador and Karachi.

d) Pakistan Government further alleged that Jadhav converted to Islam, adopted a false identity and worked at Gadani under the cover of a scrap dealer .and Jadhav established a network of operatives, provided funds, arranged to smuggle people into the country for the purpose of terrorism and reportedly purchased boats at the Iranian port in Chabahar to target Karachi and Gwadar ports in an alleged terrorist plot with an objective to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through propaganda – with Gwadar port as a special target – and also to create disharmony among the Baloch nationalist political parties.

e) Pakistan claimed that Jadhav himself made a video confession to the public that the Indian intelligence agency RAW was involved in destabilising Pakistan and he was a serving officer of the Indian Navy and was working in Pakistan at the behest of the RAW.

f) In the video, Jadhav was reportedly accepted that he launched a covert operation against Pakistan from the Iranian port of Chabahar for which he used to get instructions from Research and Analysis Wing’s from India


a) According to the Pakistani government, on 3 March 2016, Jadhav was arrested inside Balochistan in Mashkel near the border region of Chaman. When Security forces conducted a counterintelligence raid, he was arrested

b) Kulbhushan Jadhav, 49, who is on death row in Pakistan on charges of spying for India’s intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and on 10 April 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a FGCM2, following a confession before the magistrate and court.

c) Jadhav’s trial lasted for 3.5 months and the charges he was convicted for included spying for India, waging war against Pakistan, sponsoring terrorism, and destabilising the state

d) Pakistan’s Defence Minister stated that Jadhav had the right to appeal against his conviction on three appellate forums within 40 days and the same is extended under the provisions of the Pakistan Army Act of 1952


a) The Ministry of External Affairs – India, claimed that Jadhav was an Indian Navy officer but had retired early and he had no current link with the government since his leaving.

b) India strongly protested and denied the allegations of terrorism and spying for India’s intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing(RAW)

c) India also vehemently denied the claim of Jadhav’s arrest during counterintelligence activity and claimed that he was abducted from Iran by Pakistan. India went on to state that he was kidnapped by Mullah Omar Irani of Jaish ul-Adl from Sarbaz City, Iran who later handed over Jadhav to the Pakistani Army

d) Further, India states that, Pakistan fabricated his documents and leaked them without realising there were glaring inconsistencies in the same

e) India, while repeatedly demanding his release, maintained that he was no spy and that his was a case of mistaken identity.

f) India argued that Pakistan to annul the military court verdict

g) India sought consular access to Jadhav, but Pakistan refused the same saying that Indian authorities would try to remove information from its spy.

h) India has moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan, accusing Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention


a) India had challenged Pakistani military court’s verdict of not allowing Consular access citing the violation of the VIENNA CONVENTION3 on consular access and process of resolution

b) ICJ also stated and re-affirmed that Pakistan breached the obligation incumbent upon it under ARTICLE 36 OF THE VIENNA CONVENTION on consular relations.


a) ICJ stayed the execution of sentence passed to Kulbhushan Jadhav

b) The ICJ rejected Pakistan’s objections to the admissibility of the application of India to allow consular access with a 15-1 votes

c) ICJ pronounced that since Pakistan violated the VIENNA CONVENTION, it now has to provide India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav.


It was proved beyond doubt that by attempting to avoid the ‘due diligence’ process, Pakistan has exposed serious gaps in its legal environment and jeopardised its standing in the comity of nations in Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

This Jadhav case has also revealed Pakistan’s fear in its search for ‘proxies’ as drivers of the internal unrest in Baluchistan. While it would be ambitious thinking to assume that Mr. Jadhav would return to India soon, there is a flicker of hope on the possibility that the Indian strategic establishment would do well to exploit. Having skilfully navigated the legal and diplomatic channels and controlled the Pakistan military by securing manoeuvring space following the ICJ verdict, India must demonstrate its intent and capacity to extract desirable outcomes out of potentially difficult, or seemingly impossible situations like Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case.


1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kulbhushan_Jadhav#International_Court_of_Justice

2. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/kulbhushan-jadhav-case-what-you-need-to-know-before-the-verdict/articleshow/70256759.cms

3. https://www.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/kulbhushan-jadhav-1567574556-1 ______________________________


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