Pakistan files counter in ICJ

Rejects India’s stance that it violated norms by rejecting consular access to Jadhav

Published - December 13, 2017 11:24 pm IST - Karachi

Legal tangle:  No date has been fixed for the case to resume in the International Court of Justice.

Legal tangle: No date has been fixed for the case to resume in the International Court of Justice.

Pakistan on Wednesday filed a counter-memorial before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against India’s plea to prevent execution of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a military court in April.

India had won a stay from the ICJ on Jadhav’s execution on May 18 following Pakistan’s refusal to allow consular access to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad despite repeated requests.

No date has been fixed for the case to resume in the ICJ. Pakistani officials associated with the case said it would take at least weeks, if not months, before the ICJ takes up the Kulbhushan case.

Access granted to kin

Last week, Islamabad said it would allow Mr. Jadhav’s wife and mother to meet him on December 25. The Pakistani authorities also allowed the presence of an Indian High Commission official at the meeting as requested by New Delhi during the meeting.

Pakistani officials believe that by allowing a meeting with the family and an Indian High Commission official, India will lose its main claim for approaching the ICJ. In its counter-memorial Pakistan rejected India’s stance that it had violated international norms by rejecting consular access to the Indian High Commission.

Allegations denied

The counter-memorial stated that Jadhav, 46, is a RAW operative involved in espionage and subversive activities and supporting terrorists to conduct attacks in the restive Balochistan province. India has denied the allegations.

Pakistan has referred to the bilateral consular access agreement of 2008, which says that in case of arrest, detention, or sentence made on political or security grounds, each side may examine the case on the merits. The agreement was signed in Islamabad by former High Commissioner of Pakistan to India Shahid Malik and his Indian counterpart, Satyabrata Pal, on May 21, 2008.

Jadhav, who India claimed was a former naval official, was apprehended by Pakistani law enforcement agencies on March 3, 2016 after he allegedly crossed over into Pakistan from Iran.

His video confession was released by Pakistan in which he stated that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage, terrorist and sabotage activities aimed at destabilising and waging war against Pakistan.

Remaining options

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court while the Army Chief upheld his conviction. His clemency appeal has been pending before the Army Chief for four months. Pakistani officials said that there were still two forums of appeal left for Jadhav even if the Army Chief refuses his mercy appeal.

The officials added that Jadhav had three appeals left before his sentence is executed and his execution is not apparent any time soon.

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