Kulbhushan Jadhav hearing at ICJ: All you need to know about Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi

Harish Salve may have charged the princely sum of Re 1 for representing India at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, but his passion is up against a formidable force: Khawar Qureshi, who is representing Pakistan.

On Monday, in the face-off between India and Pakistan, Qureshi rejecting India's attempts to invoke ICJ's jurisdiction in the case, saying provisions of the Vienna Convention did not apply on spies, terrorists and those who indulge in espionage. Rebutting India's case, he asserted that this forum is not a criminal court of appeal nor does it exercise criminal jurisdiction.

"India's plea for invoking provisions of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention is not relevant in this case. The Vienna Convention was adopted for better communication between friendly countries. But it cannot apply in this case of a spy set up by a state.

File image of Khawar Qureshi. Image Courtesy: Serle Court website

File image of Khawar Qureshi. Image credit: Serle Court website

"It is clear from the Vienna Convention that the provision being sought under Article 36 by India cannot be entertained by this court," Qureshi said in his 45-minute reply to arguments put forth by Indian counsel Harish Salve earlier and later shot back that Jadhav "is a terrorist" and New Delhi's story was "far-fetched at best".

"India invoked the jurisdiction of this court improperly," he said. "This court exists to ensure that states engage in peaceful resolution of disputes. This court does not exist for time-wasting and political grandstanding," he added.

So, who is Khawar Qureshi?

Khawar Qureshi is a Queen's Council at Serle Court Chambers and McNair Chambers Qatar. His stint at ICJ is not his first, in fact in 1993, he was the youngest lawyer to have appeared in the ICJ as counsel for Bosnia in the Genocide case against (the then) Yugoslavia. According to Chambers and Partners (2014), Qureshi, "delivers the goods, and is particularly good at difficult cases. He is part of the team and very flexible. As such he's completely what the modern barrister should be like...He is a very powerful advocate who works incredibly hard and gets on top of both the legal issues and the facts."

Qureshi has taken on numerous cases before English courts and has also appeared before International Arbitral Tribunals; he has advised on matters involving at least 80 different jurisdictions. According to The Lawyer, however, in one of the cases he had taken on involving Gibson Dunn and Peter Gray, Qureshi had reported himself to the Bar Standards Board following an adverse ruling. Gray had misled the High Court in March in a case between Gibson Dunn and Republic of Dijbouti, where Gray made a number of accusations to the court about Qureshi's conduct, alleging that Qureshi was aware of misdated phone transcripts that led Gray to losing his job.

With inputs from AFP 

Also read: All you need to know about India's representative at International Court of Justice, Harish Salve

Updated Date: May 16, 2017 08:01 AM

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