ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is rolling up its sleeves as it prepares to face off against India in all important case before the world judicial body, as the top brass of the country will be briefed on the matter of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadav.
Sources informed The Express Tribune that Pakistan’s legal team, led by its top attorney Khawar Qureshi, will give a briefing to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi today (Thursday) on the details of the final memorandum, which would be filed before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on December 13.
It was also learnt that the Foreign Office, the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP), and the military establishment are all working on finalising the memorandum. The federal government has also sought legal assistance from two top Pakistani lawyers as well. Qureshi, however, will lead Pakistan’s legal team. It is expected that final hearings of the case will be conducted in the next couple of months.
India on September 13 submitted a 22-page memorandum wherein it objected to Jhadav being tried by a military court in Pakistan. The sources said India contended that Jadhav’s trial should have been conducted by a civilian court and that Pakistan was bound to give him counsellor access.
The federal government has already appointed former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani as an ad-hoc judge for the case at The Hague.
Legal experts are urging all the stakeholders to increase coordination in devising the final draft of the memorandum. Recently, Pakistan has offered India a meeting of Jhadav with his wife on humanitarian grounds.
The ICJ on May 18 halted the execution of Jhadav, who was sentenced to death by a military court on April 10 after being convicted on charges of terrorism and espionage.
Sources revealed that Pakistan in its pleadings will be filing a dossier on various human rights violations committed by India in the past to highlight its lack of respect for human rights.
“It will also be providing evidence of terror financing network which was penetrated and broken because of information revealed by Jhadav, including his confession,” they further informed.
A senior lawyer, who has expertise in international law, contended that India cannot obtain an acquittal or the release of Jadhav on the basis of its application.
Jhadev alias Hussain Mubarak Patel, a serving Indian Navy officer working with the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) – India’s premier intelligence agency – was apprehended on March 3, 2016, after he illegally crossed over into Pakistan via the Iran border.
He was found in possession of an Indian passport issued by the Government of India on May 12, 2015, and valid until May 11, 2024. He confessed that he is a resident of Mumbai, India, still serving in the navy, and is scheduled to retire in 2022. The videos of his confession circulated widely in the media. He was convicted of espionage, sabotage, and terrorism by a field general court martial (FGCM) under Section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act of 1923.
He confessed before a magistrate and the court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities aimed at destabilising Pakistan.
Among the charges, he was convicted for were sponsoring and directing IEDs and grenade attacks in Gwadar and Turbat. He also directed attacks on the radar station and civilian boats in the sea, opposite Jiwani Port. He funded subversive secessionist and terrorist elements through hundi for turning Pakistani youth against the country, especially in Balochistan. He sponsored attacks on gas pipelines and other infrastructure, an IED explosion in Quetta in 2015, causing massive damage to life and property, and attacks on Hazaras in Quetta and Shia Zaireen en route to and from Iran.
He abetted attacks through anti-state elements against LEAs in Turbat, Punjgur, Gwadar, Pasni and Jiwani during 2014-2015, killing and injuring many civilians and soldiers. He also launched a website with subversive content in support of anti-Pakistan elements. Pakistan repeatedly requested Indian assistance in the investigation but to no avail.