Kulbhushan Jadhav case at ICJ: Wrong to say Pakistan lost, says Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz

As Pakistan seeks re-hearing of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan did not lose at the ICJ.

"(It is) wrong to say Pakistan lost at the ICJ, court stayed execution, didn't order on consular access to Jadhav," Aziz told reporters in Islamabad on Saturday.

"There was paucity of time earlier, we will strengthen our legal team for the next time," Aziz added in the press conference. 

He asserted that the ICJ cannot nullify Indian spy Jadhav’s death sentence. “Jhadav had confessed to carrying out terrorist activities inside Pakistan and was a naval officer using a fake passport. He was sentenced according to the country’s law,” Aziz added as reported by The Express Tribune. "(he) has also admitted to carrying out espionage activities in Pakistan," PTI reports Aziz stating.

 Kulbhushan Jadhav case at ICJ: Wrong to say Pakistan lost, says Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz

File image of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. PTI

Addressing a press conference here, Aziz said that when it comes to cases involving the death penalty, the international court has always given a stay order.

On the debate of consular access, Aziz said, "The ICJ has not issued any order with regard to consular access." "The ICJ has only asked Pakistan to keep a stay on Jadhav's execution until it arrives at a decision," Aziz added.

Talking about the visit of Indian tycoon Sajjan Jindal, Aziz said that it was a private visit and there was no need for Foreign Office to issue a statement on the issue. He also rejected any link between Jindal's visit and the Jadhav case.

Aziz had announced on Friday that Pakistan will get a new team of lawyers to defend the Pakistani counsel."Pakistan’s security is so important and we have to maintain our fundamental sovereign right," Aziz had quoted while making the announcement.

Pakistan's Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali will now plead Pakistan's case at the ICJ against the 46-year-old Indian national.

The development came after the Pakistan Foreign Office was criticised for its "poor handling" of the case and for its choice of Britain-based Khawar Qureshi as counsel.

The Attorney General said the country’s defence against India’s case before the ICJ was prepared by the government in consultation with all stakeholders, including the military establishment, PTI reported.

Pakistan, which announced the sentence on Jadhav on 10 April, claims its security forces arrested him from its restive Balochistan province on 3 March last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.

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.

Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria also 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." Sartaj Aziz asserted in the press conference that, "when there will be a matter of our national interest and security, then there will be no compromise."

His colleague and Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan said the case would be taken to its "logical conclusion in accordance with Pakistan's law and constitution."

Aziz also discussed the Kashmir issue at the conference, stating that it will not be taken to ICJ as it is being dealt at the higher forum of UN Security Council. "We are not taking Kashmir issue to ICJ. I never said this as the forum for Kashmir is UN Security Council," he said.

Aziz said Pakistan wants an amicable resolution of the Kashmir issue in line with UN resolutions and Islamabad will "continue its political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiri people in their struggle for right to self-determination."

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

With inputs from agencies


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Updated Date: May 20, 2017 20:05:19 IST