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Timeline: How the Kulbhushan Jadhav saga unfolded

Dawn.com recaps developments that occurred between the Indian spy's arrest in March 2016 and the upcoming ICJ verdict.
Updated Jul 18, 2019 08:25am

The arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav became the talking point for millions of people living on either side of the India-Pakistan border after news emerged on March 3, 2016, that he was captured by the Pakistani military in Balochistan while trying to cross into the country from Iran.

The military termed his capture the “proof of Indian interference and state-sponsored terrorism”.

Read: The spy who fell from the sky

What followed in the months to come was a saga of India's counter-claims; confessions and accusations; and a Field General Court Martial trial for Jadhav on espionage, sabotage and terrorism charges, until the case landed in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

India approached the World Court against the Pakistani military tribunal's decision to sentence Jadhav to death, and a stay was granted on his execution.

The spy's case, which had stretched on for more than three years, took a decisive turn when the ICJ ruled on India's objection on July 17, finding that he has a right to consular access and requested Pakistan to reconsider his sentence.

Dawn.com recaps the major developments that have taken place since Jadhav's arrest in March 2016.

March 3, 2016

Kulbhushan Jadhav, an alleged Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent operating under the cover name of Hossein Mubarak Patel, is arrested in a counter-intelligence operation in Balochistan's Mashkel area for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan.

March 25, 2016

A confessional statement is released by the Inter-Services Public Relations in which Jadhav claims to be a serving Indian Navy officer. New Delhi issues a statement the same day, claiming that he was a former navy officer and is not currently serving. India denies any links with the spy and seeks consular access to him. It also says there is no evidence of his arrest in Balochistan.

April 8, 2016

Pakistan lodges First Information Report against Jadhav in Counter-Terrorism Department Quetta.

May 2, 2016

Initial interrogation is carried out of the Indian spy.

June 16, 2016

Since Jadhav was arrested for trying to illegally cross Iran to enter Balochistan, the Pakistani government contacts Iran and on June 16, Iran finally responds. The contents of its response are not shared with the media.

January 2017

Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi presents a dossier to the UN chief regarding India's involvement in cross-border terrorism in Pakistan and Jadhav's arrest.

April 10, 2017

Jadhav is court-martialled and sentenced to death by a military tribunal for espionage. India deems the death penalty handed through a Field General Court Martial as "pre-meditated murder".

April 15, 2017

The Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) warns lawyers against pursuing the appeal of Jadhav against his conviction by the military court.

LHCBA secretary Amir Saeed Rawn says that the lawyers will not allow release of Jadhav who has been "found guilty of playing with the lives of innocent people in Pakistan".

May 08, 2017

India moves the International Court of Justice against Pakistan, accusing the latter of violating the Vienna Convention in Jadhav's case.

May 18, 2017

ICJ stays Jadhav's execution by Pakistan "till the final decision of this court".

The UN's top court also rejects Pakistan's argument that the ICJ does not have jurisdiction in the matter, reasoning that it can hear the case because it involves, on the face of it, an alleged violation of one of the clauses of the Vienna Convention, which both Pakistan and India ascribe to and whose interpretation falls under its purview.

June 22, 2017

A second confessional statement of Jadhav is released in which he admits to working with the banned Baloch Liberation Army and Baloch Republican Army to carry out subversive activities in Balochistan. He also seeks mercy from the army chief over his death sentence.

September 2017

India submits written pleadings to the ICJ, accusing Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by denying consular access to Jadhav.

November 10, 2017

Pakistan offers a meeting between Jadhav and his wife, in Pakistan, on humanitarian grounds.

December 13, 2017

Pakistan submits its counter-memorial to India's claim before the ICJ. In the counter-memorial, it argues that the Vienna Convention does not apply to spy operations.

December 25, 2017

The Foreign Office hosts a meeting between Jadhav and his mother and wife. The meeting held as a goodwill gesture ends in a diplomatic spat between the two countries over the security checks Jadhav’s mother and wife underwent and the language restrictions during the meeting.

January 6, 2018

Indian news website The Quint publishes an article stating that Jadhav was employed by RAW as part of "renewed efforts to use human sources as deep penetration agents in Pakistan". The article is retracted by the website within hours.

February 2, 2018

A major Indian magazine, Frontline, in an article acknowledges that Jadhav may be a serving Indian Navy officer and that India is waging a covert war against Pakistan.

February 6, 2018

An official tells Dawn that Jadhav is now undergoing trial on terrorism and sabotage charges. Meanwhile, Pakistan seeks access to 13 Indian officials to ascertain information about the Jadhav case but New Delhi remains uncooperative.

February 19, 2019

The first official confrontation since the Pulwama attack takes place between Pakistan and India as the ICJ begins its four-day public hearing. New Delhi asks the UN's top court to annul Jadhav’s conviction.

More on the ICJ hearing: India fails to answer critical questions in Jadhav case: Pakistan

Related: India alters demand from Jadhav’s acquittal to retrial in civilian court

July 4, 2019

The ICJ announces through a press release that it will deliver its final judgement in the Jadhav case on July 17.

July 17, 2019

The ICJ delivers its judgment on the merits in the Jadhav case ruling that he has a right to consular access and notification.

The Court requests Pakistan to review the original verdict and reconsider his sentence. However, most of India's appeals, including his release and safe passage to India are rejected.


Data compiled by Sarah Shamim, Design: Marium Ali