19 Sep 2020: India's Queen's counsel demand for Kulbhushan Jadhav rejected by Pakistan
Jadhav, a retired Navy officer, is facing charges of espionage in Pakistan and was given a death sentence by a military court there.
India is skeptical that Pakistan wouldn't give a fair trial to Jadhav.
Context: A bit about the Kulbhushan Jadhav case
The Kulbhushan Jadhav case has sparked diplomatic tensions between hostile neighbors India and Pakistan for long.
After his arrest in 2016, India said Pakistan didn't respect international laws by denying consular access to him.
India won, and Pakistan was left red-faced.
What happened: Despite ICJ's historic verdict, Pakistan didn't meet core issues: India
On Thursday, India's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said Pakistan didn't follow ICJ's judgment in letter and spirit.
"It has not yet addressed the core issues, which includes provision of all documents related to the case, providing unconditional and unimpeded consular access to Kulbhusan Jadhav and appointment of an Indian lawyer or a Queen's Counsel to ensure free and fair trial," he said.
Fact: Who is a Queen's Counsel?
A barrister/advocate, who has been appointed as Counsel to the UK Crown after a recommendation from Lord Chancellor is called a Queen's Counsel. A Queen's Counsel is recognized across the globe. Notably, eminent lawyer Harish Salve, who represented India at ICJ, fits the bill.
Access: Till now, Pakistan has given consular access only two times
Further, Srivastava underlined that Pakistan has given consular access to Jadhav only two times. In the last meeting of July, Pakistani officials were present, despite India's protests.
"Jadhav himself was visibly under stress and indicated that clearly to the consular officers," the ministry had said.
India also said Pakistan prohibited Jadhav from giving consent to arrange legal aid for him.
Statement: No change in position, India's demand unrealistic: Pakistan
Although India clearly stated its terms, Pakistan didn't budge and called the demand for Queen's counsel "unrealistic."
"We have informed India that only those lawyers are allowed to appear in Pakistani courts who have a license to practice law in Pakistan. This is in line with international legal practice. There can be no change in this position," said Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, spokesperson of Pakistan's Foreign Office.