Pakistan to handle Kulbhushan Jadhav case as per law: Imran Khan

Updated - July 18, 2019 04:35 pm IST

Published - July 18, 2019 01:41 pm IST - Islamabad

FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2019 file photo, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks at a news conference in Ankara, Turkey. Khan has congratulated his Indian counterpart on his victory in the massive general election. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici,file)

FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2019 file photo, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks at a news conference in Ankara, Turkey. Khan has congratulated his Indian counterpart on his victory in the massive general election. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici,file)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the country will proceed further “as per law” in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case after the ICJ ordered an “effective review and reconsideration” of his conviction and sentence by a Pakistani military court.

Mr. Jadhav (49), a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017. His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India following which New Delhi moved the world court.

The International Court of Justice Bench headed by Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf on Wednesday ordered an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Mr. Jadhav.

The Bench, however, rejected some remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court’s decision convicting Mr. Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.

Reacting for the first time to the verdict, Mr. Khan tweeted: “Appreciate ICJ’s decision not to acquit, release and return Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav to India. He is guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan. Pakistan shall proceed further as per law.”

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said “Jadhav shall remain in Pakistan. He shall be treated in accordance with the laws of Pakistan. “This is a victory for Pakistan,” he claimed.

He said India wanted acquittal of Mr. Jadhav and his return, but that was not accepted. “If they still want to claim victory.... Good Luck!” he tweeted.

The Pakistan military spokesperson termed the verdict as another “February 27” for India as it surprised the Indians.

“It’s another February 27 for India because they have been surprised again. They thought that the kind of political capital they have, they can manipulate justice too but that did not happen,” Military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told ARY News on Wednesday night.

He was referring to Pakistan’s downing of an IAF fighter jet and capturing its pilot on February 27 after India bombed a terror training camp of JeM in Balakot the previous day.

On the issue of implementing the judgment, the spokesman said that “Pakistan will follow the law” as it was a law abiding nation. “For the verdict to be upheld by an international court where there is no concept of capital punishment is a big victory for Pakistan,” he said.

He said the ICJ verdict also put confidence in the judicial system of Pakistan because it said that “the review and reconsideration can be done by means of our own choosing is great validation for our judicial system.”

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