Kulbhushan Jadhav case at ICJ: Pakistan National Assembly speaker says army and govt will jointly fight case

Pakistan's state radio reportedly quoted a senior ruling party legislator as saying that the Pakistan Army will jointly fight the case with the civilian government at the International Court of Justice after the top court ruled in India's favour in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case on Thursday.

The Times of India reported that while the term "jointly" in the context of the case is not clearly known yet, the immense clout of the army makes the statement by Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq a no-brainer.

Several Pakistani news outlets also took note of Sadiq's speech on Saturday.

 Kulbhushan Jadhav case at ICJ: Pakistan National Assembly speaker says army and govt will jointly fight case

File image of former navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. PTI.

In his address to his parliamentary constituency, Sadiq is reported by Radio Pakistan to have said, "It is time to be united instead of doing politics on the issue of a terrorist."

The Times of India quoted him as criticising politicians for playing politics over Jadhav, "We have already suffered much in the past because of "this trend of causing damage to the national interest in order to protect the personal interest of some."

Pakistani commentators interpreted it as the unity of the civilian establishment and the army in Pakistan.

In the judgment released by the ICJ at The Hague on Thursday, the tribunal had 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 heaved a collective sigh of relief after the decision.

Jadhav was sentenced to death on charges of espionage by a Pakistani military court on 10 April. The Pakistani intelligence agency ISI's public relations department Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had issued a statement confirming the news.

Jadhav, a 1991 commissioned naval officer, was arrested in March 2016 by Pakistan authorities on the charges that he was dealing with Balochistan freedom fighters. The allegation was that Jadhav, who retired in 2013, was an active Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent, a charge denied by India. RAW is the primary foreign intelligence agency of India.

Sources at Government of India had said that Jadhav was a small businessman. It is said that Jadhav often carried cargo to and from Iranian ports bordering Pakistan and has nothing to do with India's external intelligence agency.

India has been repeatedly seeking consular access to Jadhav but denied each and every time.

Indian high commissioner Gautam Bambawale had also met Pakistan foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua to discuss the Kulbhushan Jadhav issue and seek consular access to the ex-naval officer on 26 April.

India had appealed to the ICJ on 8 May after Pakistan ignored its request for consular access to the former navyman 16 times.

New Delhi had called for immediate suspension of Jadhav's death sentence and accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna convention by denying its 16 requests for consular access.

All requests for consular access to 46-year-old Jadhav had fallen on "deaf ears", it had said.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: May 21, 2017 12:19:11 IST