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July 20, 2018

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ICJ hearing: Pakistan has strong case against Jadhav, says FO

ISLAMABAD: As the formal hearing in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) finally commences, Pakistan appears confident and says it has a strong case against India relating to RAW spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was captured in Balochistan. The government has just submitted a counter-memorial, a legal document at the ICJ.

Jadhav presently on death row was charged with being involved in espionage, subversive and terrorist activities. “We have dealt with the case in a transparent manner. Our response (July 17) was submitted by Dr Fareha Bugti, Director (India) and Waseem Shahzad, First Secretary at our Mission in The Hague. With this counter-memorial from our side, the submissions of both sides are complete. Now, the formal hearing will begin," spokesman at the Foreign Office told the weekly media briefing.

In spite of a great length of time, Pakistan says that India has been unable, is unable or unwilling to provide answers to many key questions regarding Commander Kulbhushan Jadhev.

“These are related to, why Commander Jadhev possessed a passport in the name of Hussein Mubarak Patel? If the passport was fake, how could he travel out of India 17 times, including from Mumbai and New Delhi? If it was real, how could he be in possession of a passport in a fake name? Also if he was retired, as per Indian claims, why did India fail to produce his retirement or pension papers?”

As if India’s involvement in Balochistan, from where Jadhav was arrested not enough, reports indicate that after campaigns in Geneva and London, an office for Free Balochistan has now been accommodated in New Delhi.

“I have seen the media reports you refer to and shall try to ascertain the facts. However, Indian interference in Pakistan is an established fact. Indian statements threatening the territorial integrity of Pakistan are on record, indicating their hegemonic designs. Inauguration of such an office is only reflective of India’s nefarious designs against Pakistan," commented the spokesman.

Additionally, he said that Pakistan is fully equipped to defend itself against such nefarious designs. India needs to act as a responsible member of the international community and desist from such actions.

The spokesman once again pointed to the fact that UN Secretary General endorsing the UN report on Kashmir is another blow to India’s farcical stance about the Indian-Held Kashmir (IHK).

“OHCHR report on Kashmir has greatly upset the Indian efforts to project that all is well in IHK as it is the first report of its kind that acknowledges and documents India’s widest human rights violations in IHK”, he added.

Pakistan also expressed concern over the issues of a blasphemous cartoon contest to be held in the Dutch Parliament in December this year. ”We have taken specific steps to lodge protests at all levels. Foreign Minister Abdullah Hussain Haroon has written to OIC secretary general asking for collective OIC action to register protest of OIC countries with Dutch authorities. The ambassador of the Netherlands was called to also register a protest on the announcement by Geert Wilders," revealed the spokesman.

The EU ambassador, who represents 28 European countries, was also called to the ministry to also register a protest. “We have conveyed our condemnation of this deliberate attempt to vilify Islam. We should respect each other’s religious beliefs and sacred personalities; such incidents should not go unpunished as they intentionally provoke sentiments of the Muslim communities across the world and incite intolerance and violence," he added.

On Afghanistan, the spokesman said it was important to focus on the statements emanating from Afghan and the US sides about making the timeline of withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, a part of the overall agenda of peace talks with the Taliban.

“We believe flexibility over stated positions on either side would facilitate kick-starting a peace process in Afghanistan. In this regard, we should also keep in mind the earlier statements of President Ashraf Ghani about the vitality of continued foreign support for sustenance of Afghanistan," he said.

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