Pakistan submits reply with ICJ in Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case

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  • Pakistani lawyer says ICJ unlikely to acquit Jadhav

Pakistan has submitted its reply with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case pertaining to Indian terrorist Kulbhushan Jadhav, media reports say.

This is the second reply that Pakistan submitted which addresses all the questions posed by India, reports say, adding that the previous reply was submitted by Pakistan on December 13, 2017.

According to reports, the 400-page-long reply was submitted to the ICJ by Dr Fareeha Baig.

The ICJ is currently hearing an Indian petition challenging Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to the spy. A memorial by India and counter-memorial by Pakistan have been submitted in the case.

The oral arguments are yet to commence as the court had allowed further written pleadings in the case by India till April 17, 2018, while allowing Pakistan to submit its rejoinder till July 17.

Meanwhile, the lawyer representing Pakistan in the Kulbushan Jadhav case in the ICJ, Khawar Qureshi has claimed that evidence has been discovered that the Indian spy used his passport issued by the Indian authorities to travel to and fro from India at least 17 times.

In an interview with a local media outfit, Qureshi said, “The inference is that India gave Jadhav the false Muslim identity for improper purposes. India’s answer has been to say it does not need to answer this point.”

During his conversation with the outlet, Khawar summarised a few key points of the case.

He said, “India says Jadhav recently retired from the Indian Navy and suggests he was kidnapped from Iran and smuggled into Pakistan to extract a false confession. India says the entire legal process against him in Pakistan was unfair, and demands that the ICJ at least orders his acquittal or release. India says Jadhav should have been given immediate consular access.”

“Pakistan says Jadhav was a naval commander who was working for Indian spy agency RAW when arrested. The ICJ has been asked to consider whether individuals suspected of espionage had in practice often been excluded from the right to a consular access-an argument never raised or considered previously. The ICJ has now exceptionally invited all states that signed the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) to respond to Pakistan’s argument on this point, which is based upon the material practice of the US, Soviet Union and China, including the famous Gary Powers case (given the Hollywood treatment in The Bridge of Spies), as well as commentaries from experts in this field,” he said.

Replying to a question, he said: “I submitted on May 15, 2017, and repeat, the ICJ has never ordered acquittal or release (as India at least seeks), and all its previous decisions indicate it would never do so.”

On April 10, 2017, a military court passed a death sentence after hearing the case and convicting Jhadav.

Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan and had entered Pakistan from Iran and was carrying an Indian passport in the name of ‘Hussein Mubarak Patel’.

His confession was shared stating that he was a serving Indian navy commander seconded to RAW (the Indian intelligence’s Research and Analysis Wing), who was involved in crimes of espionage and terrorism directed toward the infrastructure and people of Pakistan, including Gwadar port and CPEC facilities.

From March 25, 2016, onwards, India had sought consular access to Jadhav, which was earlier denied.

On May 8, 2017, India made an application to the ICJ arguing that Pakistan had violated the VCCR by denying consular access and that the military court trial/conviction was “flagrantly unfair”. India demanded that the ICJ should immediately make an order (without any hearing) that Pakistan should not execute Jadhav pending the full hearing of India’s claims.

On May 18, 2017, ICJ stayed Jadhav’s execution through an interim order.