ICJ reserves verdict as Pakistan concludes arguments


ISLAMABAD: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday reserved verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case following the conclusion of arguments from Pakistan and India.

The ICJ will announce the verdict on the date finalised by both the parties. Pakistan presented its final arguments in Kulbhushan Jadhav case in ICJ on the fourth day of the public hearing being held at The Hague.

The lawyer representing Pakistan, English Queen’s Counsel Khawar Qureshi, maintained that India has yet not responded to their arguments.

The Indian lawyer did not reply to Pakistan’s arguments but tried to divert the attention of court from unrelated issues, he added.

“India quoted my remarks out of the context. I do not want to add anything as the facts speak themselves,” he asserted.

Qureshi told that Pakistan’s answer to Indian queries has been submitted in court. However, India has neither replied over the 2018 agreement and the story of Jadhav’s kidnapping.

“I challenge India to point out any error in the facts mentioned in British report. India says that the case is merely limited to consular access but it fails to explain how a spy can be given that facility,” notified Qureshi.

Pakistan has requested the ICJ to dismiss the plea seeking relief for Jadhav.

On Wednesday, India concluded its second and final round of arguments in Kulbhushan Jadhav case at ICJ.

At the Peace Palace – the seat of United Nations’ (UN) top Court, Indian Counsel Advocate Harish Salve presented the arguments in response to Pakistan’s stance submitted on Tuesday through English Queen’s Council Barrister Khawar Qureshi, who raised tough questions on Jadhav’s subversive activities and espionage.

During India’s final oral submissions, Advocate Harish Salve said that irrespective of whether or not Jadhav had an Indian passport, he would have been tried for espionage if he was actually involved in subversive activities.

Salve told the 15-member bench that India had repeatedly asked Pakistan for a copy of judgment convicting Jadhav.

He pointed out that Pakistan was relying on reports by the Indian press by quoting the articles of Karan Thapar and Praveen Swami, which he claimed were in contradiction with Pakistan’s First Information Report (FIR).

On death sentence to Jadhav announced by Pakistan’s military court, Salve said that domestic law could not be considered as a defence against a violation of international law of obligation.

Salve accused Pakistan of not conforming to the Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which he said required a nation arresting or detaining a foreign national to ensure his or her right of consular access.

Joint Secretary of India’s Ministry of External Affairs Deepak Mittal, in his concluding remarks, sought relief for Jadhav.

The Court did not accept Pakistan’s request to replace its Judge Ad hoc Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jilani who could not attend the hearing due to ill health and asked him to continue, saying that Jilani was earlier given all case files and would be given oral transcripts as well.

The Court adjourned the sitting till Thursday to hear Pakistan’s second and final round of submission.

The 15-member bench under the presidency of President Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf started its four-day consecutive public hearings on February 18. The case proceedings were throughout shown live from the courtroom and shared by ICJ’s website for a real-time update of the viewers worldwide, including the party states Pakistan and India.