Pakistan moves ICJ to rehear Kulbhushan Jadhav case

Opposition roasts Govt for ‘mishandling sensitive issue’

AGENCIES
Islamabad, Publish Date: May 20 2017 1:09AM | Updated Date: May 20 2017 1:09AM
Pakistan moves ICJ to rehear Kulbhushan Jadhav caseFile Photo

Pakistan on Friday filed a plea in the ICJ to rehear within six weeks the case of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court.

Dunya News said Pakistan was set to re-challenge the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice after it granted injunction on Thursday on an Indian plea to stay Jadhav's execution.

According to law, Jadhav can challenge till the end of Saturday his death sentence in an appellate court. A military court sentenced him to death on April 10 on spying and terrorism charges.

Within 60 days of the verdict of the appellate court, the inmate can make a clemency appeal to the Chief of the Pakistan Army, Dunya said.

A death row inmate is permitted to make the final clemency appeal to the Pakistan President within 90 days of the Army chief's order.

Pakistan on Thursday said the ruling by the International Court of Justice did not change the status of the case even as Opposition party leaders attacked the government’s handling of the matter at The Hague.

The UN court has ordered Pakistan not to execute Jadhav pending the outcome of a case filed by India.

Islamabad said it attended the hearing out of its respect for the court and driven by the conviction that the challenge can be made via appearance and not by abstaining from the process. “Pakistan attended because of its conviction that the only way to resolve all outstanding issues is through peaceful means. We are confident that India would not be able to hide the subversive activities it is trying to carry out through its agents like Commander Jadhav,” stated an official statement by the Attorney General’s office.

The AG’s office interpreted the interim order by ICJ as maintaining the status quo in the case. “The court has clearly underscored that the provisional measures are without prejudice to the final determination of the merits and jurisdiction of the case.”

It added: “These provisional measures have no bearing whatsoever on the final decision of the court.”

NEW LEGAL TEAM:

Sartaj Aziz, senior adviser to Prime Minister, said the government will constitute a new legal team to fight the case. Responding to the criticism by opposition parties, he said Pakistan could not have abstained from the hearing as any such move would have given advantage to India.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf slammed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the adverse ICJ ruling. “Pakistan sent a junior lawyer, totally unprepared to defend our case. This spineless government is incapable of standing up to India’s aggression,” PTI leader and member the National Assembly from Islamabad, Asad Umar, tweeted after the ruling.

Justice (retired) Tariq Mehmood, former President of Supreme Court Bar Association, said the ICJ’s decision is a provisional relief. “I am not surprised by the ICJ decision as we need to understand that death penalty is not liked internationally, which is reflected in the decision. But the final decision will be made after arguments on the merits and maintainability and I must say our lawyer has made very valid arguments.”  

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