ISLAMABAD: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has emphatically rejected India’s request for six more months’ time to file pleadings in Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case and given till September 13, 2016 to do so.
It was learnt that if the ICJ had accepted India’s request then the case would have been delayed by more than 18 months, but now it would likely resume in mid-January.
A meeting had taken place on June 8 between ICJ President Ronny Abrahim and delegations from India and Pakistan to discuss the timeline in Jadhav’s case. The ICJ’s registrar and other officials were also present during the meeting. The meeting lasted 45 minutes.
Jadhav, an Indian spy arrested from Balochistan last year, was awarded capital punishment by a military court in Pakistan on April 10 for ‘fomenting terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi’. However, his execution was stayed on May 18 by the ICJ on India’s request.
The delegation from Pakistan was led by the Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali. Other members of the delegation included Foreign Office (FO) Director General for South Asia Dr Muhammad Faisal, FO’s Head of International Disputes Unit Ahmad Irfan Aslam and Pakistan’s counsel Khawar Qureshi.
Pakistan had requested that the matter of filing of written replies (pleadings) ought to be completed before the end of the current year, a senior government functionary said, adding that Pakistan is expected to give its memorial in December.
Likewise, the AGP had opposed India’s request to give it six months for filing pleadings during the meeting on June 8. He had objected on the grounds that India already had a full year to prepare for the case.
Sources revealed that Pakistan in its pleadings will be filing a dossier on various violations of human rights by India in the past to highlight its lack of respect.
“It will also be providing evidence of terror-financing network which was penetrated and broken because of information and confession made by Jadhav,” they further informed.
During the meeting, the AG also informed the ICJ about Pakistan’s intention to appoint an ad hoc judge, who will sit on the bench for all proceedings in this case, including the substantive hearing.
A senior lawyer, who has expertise in international law, contends that India can never obtain acquittal or release of Jadhav on the basis of its application.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the government is considering the names of senior jurist Makhdoom Ali Khan, former chief justices Tassaduq Hussain Jilani and Nasirul Mulk, and former Jordan prime minister Awn Al-Khasawneh for appointment as ad hoc judge. In Pakistan’s history, only former foreign minister Barrister Zafarrullah was appointed as ICJ judge in 1954.
A senior lawyer, with vast experience of international arbitration, believes that it was necessary to revamp the legal wing of the Foreign Office because it failed to give proper advice to deal with Jadhav’s case. Lawyer Khawar Qureshi is giving arguments on behalf of Pakistan in Jadhav’s case.