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Web Desk
February 19, 2019

Pakistan makes strong statement in Indian spy Kulbhushan case at ICJ


Web Desk
Tue, Feb 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday made a strong statement in Kulbhushan Jadhav case based on solid evidence of espionage against the Indian spy as International Court of Justice (ICJ) resumed its public hearing on the second day at The Hague, Netherlands.

At the Peace Palace, English Queen’s Counsel Barrister Khawar Qureshi representing Pakistan raised nine points in light of evidence pertaining to espionage, Jadhav’s confessional statement, his 17 times travel on fake Indian passport and unlawful claim of consular access under Vienna Convention.

The case proceedings were shown live from the courtroom and shared by the ICJ’s website for real-time update of the viewers worldwide, including in the party states Pakistan and India.

Before the 15-member bench, Counsel Qureshi termed India’s oral arguments - presented a day earlier - as “an opportunity wasted”, saying India failed to answer fundamental questions regarding subversive activities of its serving navy commander inside Pakistan.

Counsel Khawar Qureshi argued India’s demand of provisional measures without conduct of any hearing since it invoked ICJ's jurisdiction on May 8, 2016 and termed “outlandish” the Indian claim for “at least” acquittal, release and return of Jadhav.

Calling India’s proposition as “absurd and nonsensical,” he said India was showing lack of good faith and sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan through Jadhav.

He also referred to a few cases of Russia and China where States were free to modify their own practice in dealing with espionage as special case.

He said India and Pakistan entered into a clearly worded agreement on consular access (operative since 1982 and amended in 2008) which identified the basis to consider the option of consular access in case of espionage.

He emphasized that India’s conduct in sending Commander Jadhav to engage in acts of espionage violated the Article 5(a) of Vienna Convention and said permitting consular access would be in blatant violation of the fundamental precepts of international law.

He requested the Court to “declare India’s petition inadmissible by reason of its conduct manifesting abuse of rights, illegality and misrepresentation.”

On alternative, he said, even if the Court were to hold that Vienna Convention’s Article 36 was engaged and a right to consular access was denied, the appropriate remedy would be filing a review before Pakistan’s High Court, any time by Jadhav and his family.

Earlier, Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan as Agent said Pakistan remained committed to peaceful resolution to all outstanding disputes and mentioned that the country suffered more than 74,000 casualties due to interference by neighbouring India.

In this context, he said, Commander Jadhav working for Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) entered Pakistan with predetermined plan of sabotage and confessed to his crime before the judicial magistrate.

The Attorney General said Jadhav was involved in carrying out bombings, targeted operations, kidnapping and unlawful activities to create anarchy in Pakistan and target the Pakistan China Economic Corridor.

He mentioned that he himself had been a victim of Indian brutalities when faced torture during the 1971 Indo-Pak War as prisoner of war.

He recalled that Jadhav’s mother and wife were allowed to meet him in December 2017, and said it was a challenge for India to quote a similar example where a person involved in espionage and terrorism was granted access to family on humanitarian grounds.

The Attorney General said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 and also National Security Adviser Ajit Doval admitted to use of spy activities for creating unrest in Pakistan.

He mentioned the massacre of Army Public School Peshawar, where 140 school children as young as six years, were killed by militants operated by India through Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s Judge Ad hoc Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, who was to sit in the bench, could not attend the hearing on the second consecutive day due to ill health.

The Attorney General requested the Court for replacement of the Judge Ad hoc in view of the country’s right under Article 35(5) of Rules of Court, to which the head of the bench reserved the decision.

Pakistan’s Co-Agent Dr Mohammad Faisal, Ambassador to the Netherlands Shujaat Ali Rathore and junior counsels Joseph Dyke and Catriona Nicol attended the hearing from Pakistani side.

Indian Counsel Advocate Harish Salve and Joint Secretary of Indian External Affairs Ministry Deepak Mittal were present in the courtroom.

The Court adjourned the hearing till Wednesday (tomorrow) at 7:00 pm Pakistan Standard Time for final submissions by India followed by Pakistan the next day.