After big setback at ICJ, Pakistan to change legal team in Kulbhushan Jadhav case
Lahore: After suffering a major setback at the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav death penalty case, Pakistan is set to replace the lawyers that represented the country at the World Court, Pakistani media reports said.
Sartaj Aziz, the foreign affairs adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was quoted by The Nation as saying that Islamabad will appoint a new team of lawyers to defend Pakistan’s position at the The Hague, Netherlands-based International Court of Justice. The Pakistani legal team was led by Khawar Qureshi who faced off against Harish Salve on Monday when both argued their respective countries’ position on the Jadhav death penalty matter.
State-run news agency Associated Press of Pakistan further reported Aziz saying that Qureshi had courageously represented Pakistan at the International Court of Justice.
The ICJ on Thursday allowed India’s petition that Pakistan be directed not to execute Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was handed a death sentence by a Pakistani military court in April this year.
The ICJ, accepting India’s plea, said Pakistan must not hang Jadhav until the court hears the matter in full and that Islamabad must inform the World Court of the steps it has taken to ensure that the Indian national is not executed.
Responding to the ICJ order, Aziz, Pakistan’s de facto foreign minister, was reported to have said, “Pakistan’s security is so important and we have to maintain our fundamental sovereign right.”
Having ordered Pakistan not to execute Jadhav, the ICJ will now seek comprehensive submissions from both New Delhi and Islamabad on their respective cases. The dates or the schedule of upcoming hearings at The Hague have not yet been announced, but it is likely that the process will take years.
In April this year, the Directorate of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan military wing, announced that Jadhav, whom Islamabad accuses of being a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent and of fomenting unrest in Balochistan, was sentenced to die by a Pakistani army court. Jadhav’s death sentence was confirmed by Pakistani army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.
India, who said Jadhav is a retired Indian Navy officer-turned businessman, slammed Pakistan for carrying out a secretive, “farcical” trial. New Delhi then dragged Islamabad to the International Court of Justice.
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