Kulbhushan Jadhav case at ICJ: Pakistan seeks re-hearing of case, say reports

Claiming that they have not presented all sides of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, the Pakistani counsel has demanded a re-hearing of the case at the International Court of Justice. According to CNN-News18an application has been moved to the ICJ by the Pakistani side, where they want to challenge the jurisdiction of the ICJ itself.

According to a Pakistani news portal Dunya News, Pakistan has reported re-challenged the jurisdiction of the ICJ after the court, on Thursday, granted injunction on India's plea to put a hold on the execution of Jadhav. The site reported that Pakistani lawyer Khawar Qureshi will continue to represent Pakistan counsel.

One of the major aspects to anticipate would be what new facts Pakistan could present to the court.

According to law, Jadhav can challenge till the end of Saturday his death sentence in an appellate court. A military court sentenced him to death on 10 April on spying and terrorism charges.

In the judgment released by the ICJ at The Hague on Thursday, the tribunal asked Pakistan to take all "necessary measures at its disposal" to ensure that Jadhav was not executed pending a final decision by it.

India had moved the UN's highest judicial body against Jadhav's death sentence after Pakistan ignored its request for consular access to the former navyman 16 times.

File image of Kulbhushan Jadhav. PTI

File image of Kulbhushan Jadhav. PTI

Pakistan Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz stated on Friday that the ICJ did not order Pakistan to provide consular access to Jadhav, but has merely put forward an opinion. He said a decision to provide consular access to Jadhav is yet to be made.

Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria dismissed the ICJ's provisional measures stating Article 36 (2) of the Vienna Convention, "Pakistan does not accept the ICJ's jurisdiction in matters related to national security." According to Pakistan, Jadhav was seized by its security forces in the restive Balochistan province on 3 March, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran. India has disputed the claim and said Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests.

The Hague-based ICJ heard the two sides on Monday where Pakistan had challenged the jurisdiction of the court but in its decision, the court prime facie exercised the jurisdiction and accepted Indian pleas unanimously.

Pakistani analysts, who were earlier confident that the ICJ does not have jurisdiction to stay Jadhav’s execution, observed after the verdict that the jurisdiction argument was “weak” and “damaging”, reported Dawn.

Some Pakistan news outlets even criticised UK-based Qureshi for his inability to counter Harish Salve’s argument regarding the 2008 bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan on consular access.

Pakistan stated on Friday that it will constitute a new team of lawyers to "vigorously" present its case against Jadhav at the ICJ, the prime minister's advisor on foreign affairs said on Friday as the government faced flak over the handling of the case.

The announcement by Sartaj Aziz came amid criticism by experts and opposition leaders over the Pakistan government's handling of the case at the ICJ.

Aziz maintained that Qureshi had "courageously" presented Pakistan's case in the court. He said the ICJ had given its point of view on Jadhav's case to get consular access, according to PTI.

"Pakistan’s security is so important and we have to maintain our fundamental sovereign right," Aziz was quoted as saying, reported PTI.

Jadhav's case is the latest flash-point in the tensions between Pakistan and India. The two countries last face-off at the ICJ was 18 years ago when Islamabad sought its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft.

India may have got a breather from the ICJ, but his well-being still remains a matter of concern as Pakistan has provided no information about his location or health condition.

Asked if the government has information on Jadhav's location in Pakistan, Gopal Baglay, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, said on Friday, "The Pakistan government has not provided any information about Jadhav's condition or where he has been kept there. This has been a matter of concern."

Meanwhile, the Pakistan government came under attack from the opposition for "mishandling" the Jadhav's case and two opposition leaders linked the weak defence put up by Pakistan at the ICJ to a meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had with Indian business tycoon Sajjan Jindal.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader Shafqat Mehmood asked Sharif to disclose details of his "secret meetings" with Jindal, the Dawn reported. He said the ICJ decision was an outcome of the Sharif-Jindal talks.

Another PTI leader, Shirin Mazari, accused the Pakistan government of deliberately playing a game to advance Indian interests.

"They wanted the ICJ to give a stay. This was a game which started after Jindal's visit to Pakistan," she said.

Another opposition leader, Kamil Ali Agha, described the ICJ decision as the "biggest diplomatic defeat" for Pakistan.

Minister of State for Information Marriyam Aurangzeb, however, said the case was fought in the best possible manner and advised the opposition not to play politics over issues of national security.

According to IANS, Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that the issue of Jadhav concerns the nation's security and there will be no compromise on it.

The minister said the Jadhav was convicted after fulfilling all necessary legal procedures and any decision on the matter will be taken keeping in view national security.

With inputs from agencies


Published Date: May 19, 2017 09:33 pm | Updated Date: May 19, 2017 10:15 pm


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