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National

May 20, 2017

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Pak counsel says no victory for India in Kulbhushan case

Pak counsel says no victory for India in Kulbhushan case

Khawar Qureshi says ICJ ruling only on consular access; India propagating lies to hide its failure; established internationally that Yadav was RAW spy involved in terrorism; rubbishes legal fees rumours

LONDON: Pakistan’s lawyer at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav’s case has said that India is befooling its public by claiming victory. In a detailed interview here with this correspondent, Khawar Qureshi, QC, said that it’s clear that India has not won anything yet claims that it has scored a victory.

He said: “The order issued by the ICJ is just a procedural order to enable full hearing. It certainly is not a victory for India by any means. It’s quite clear that India hasn’t won anything. The problem seems to be that this case is more about political point scoring than it is about the law. On Monday I made it clear to the court that India had misled the court by saying that the case was so urgent the court had to act without Pakistan being present, so I showed to the court how Indian had not been truthful about some of the documents presented before the court. 

“I told the court that this case was very different from the three other cases of death sentences. The three other cases the court had granted orders to stop a death sentence form being carried out, they all involved America where there is still the death penalty. In any case the USA didn’t have any regard to the order of the court and carried on. It’s completely wrong for the Indian media to say that this is a victory but then what else can they claim.”

He said that facts about the case involving RAW spy Kulbhushan Yadav are simple. He explained: “India says Kulbhushan Yadav shouldn’t be sentenced to death and that the ICJ should order his release which is the highest court, this is clearly not possible. On Monday India asked the court to give him relief. The court has now made a procedural order to enable a full hearing to take place. On Monday it was very clear that the court didn’t want to hear about the merits or the jurisdiction. The court wanted to be satisfied whether or not Commander Yadav had been denied consular access which he has. The court wanted to be satisfied whether or not he has been sentenced to death, he has. And whether that death sentence can be carried out, it can. For all those reasons, the court asked Pakistan to delay any carrying out of any sentence until the full hearing which is normal in any court. So there is nothing spectacular about what the court did.” 

Khawar Qureshi blasted the Indian media and the government for running a vicious and baseless campaign against him and giving no regard to facts. “It’s very disappointing that India should stoop to this level. This is pathetic at best because I understand that someone said that I had charged 720,000 pounds in legal fees. Where did this come from? This is no sense. It’s sad that Pakistani media picked up these lies from India and didn’t question and didn’t do their own home work. I ask Pakistani media to check your facts and don’t run after lies of Indian media.”

He said that Indian government sources have created false web pages about him in an attempt to tarnish his image. “My question to India is why are you taking so much trouble to target me? What has hurt you so much? Do you see me as such a big threat? I am only doing my job.

“My fees were not even 10 per cent of what the Indian propaganda suggests. I cancelled another professional commitment with another government to travel to Pakistan urgently. I gave a 30 per cent reduction on my fees, besides covering the cost of two of my juniors’ fees,” he added.

Khawar Qureshi, QC, said that some people in Pakistan have said that Pakistan shouldn’t have appeared at the ICJ in this case. “It’s basic courtesy and common sense to appear before a court to explain who you are why you think the other side is wrong. Not appearing is not an option unless you are unwise and stupid. Our argument before the court was that the court will not order the release of Commander Yadav. We have shown to that court compelling evidence that Yadav was an Indian spy working against Pakistan inside Pakistan for the Indian intelligence agency RAW. That Commander Yadav was involved in terrorist activities. The court hasn’t looked at that, all the court was interested in looking at was that a full hearing can take place in a meaningful way. It’s a pity that Indian media has taken it up this way, but lies from propaganda website can be separated easily.”

Khawar Qureshi revealed that he had acted for the Indian government in one of the biggest financial claims. “I have acted for many governments. I am sure they will be making something of that as well in not too distant future. The biggest claim against India ever brought was in 2004 involving 750 billion dollars. India sacked some English QCs who advised India to settle the case for 2 billion dollars. We settled it for 100 million. They may be unhappy that I acted for Pakistan but that’s my job, I act for clients from all over the world. So far as this case, the progress is quiet clear.”

Khawar Qureshi paid tribute to Pakistani authorities for their professionalism. “We received excellent support from Pakistan’s foreign office and those incharge of the military courts and tribunals to be able to turn it around in 48 hours and to produce the submission that we did. I was very pleased with them and I want to pay tribute to them, they did a first-class job.”

Khawar Qureshi said that Pakistan must push on with its case at the ICJ. He told this scribe: “We have made it clear that on the law and on the merits India is in a weak position, if you cannot get what you are asking for -- which is release of Commander Yadav -- there is no chance for the ICJ ordering the release of Commander Yadav. What India is doing is wasting its time.”

 

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