Iran, India in touch on Jadhav case: Javad Zarif

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TEHERAN: In a recent interview, Foreign Minister of Iran Javad Zarif has said that his country and India are in touch on the issue of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav who is under Pakistani custody and whose case will be heard at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague between February 18-21.

He told ‘India Today TV’ that Tehran is in touch with both the countries on this case.”We are always in touch with our friends in India and Pakistan on all these cases,” he said.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death in April last year on charges of spying. While Pakistan claims that Jadhav was taken into custody after he illegally entered Balochistan from Iran in March 2016, India maintains that he was abducted from Iran where he had business interests in Chabahar.

When asked on cooperation regarding this case and sharing of evidence of his presence in Iran, the Iranian foreign minister said, “We do not want Iran to become a theatre of animosity between our two friends–India and Pakistan. We will work with both sides to bring the region closer to peace and security.”

To a specific question on whether evidence has been shared, he chose not to respond. India had approached the ICJ for “egregious” violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 by Pakistan in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. The ICJ had earlier asked Pakistan to halt Kulbhushan Jadhav’s execution pending the final verdict by ICJ.