Pak asks India to appoint lawyer to represent Kulbhushan Jadhav

Sajjad Hussain
·3-min read

Islamabad, Apr 16 (PTI) Pakistan on Friday again urged India to appoint a lawyer to represent death row convict Kulbhushan Jadhav to implement the verdict of the International Court of Justice.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC), while hearing the case on Thursday, asked the Foreign Office (FO) to approach India about appointing a counsel and clarifying the issue of jurisdiction of the case being heard by the court.

FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry, addressing a weekly briefing, said: “We once again urge India to cooperate with the Pakistani courts by inter-alia appointing a lawyer in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case so that full effect could be given to the ICJ judgment in the case”.

Jadhav, the 50-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India approached the International Court of Justice against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.

The Hague-based ICJ ruled in July 2019 that Pakistan must undertake an 'effective review and reconsideration' of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.

The ICJ, in its 2019 verdict, had asked Pakistan to provide a proper forum for appeal against the sentence given to Jadhav by a military court.

Asked about backchannel contacts with India, Chaudhry said “states have ways and means to communicate with other states which remain available even during wars.” He said Pakistan never shied away from talks with India and has always underscored the need for a ‘meaningful dialogue’ and peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

“We believe durable peace, security and development in the region hinge on peaceful resolution of the long-standing Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” he said.

Asked about the UAE’s role in peace effort between Pakistan and India, Chaudhry said Pakistan always maintained that the international community can play an important role in averting risks to peace and stability in the region, and facilitating a just and lasting solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

He said that the onus is on India to create the enabling environment for a meaningful dialogue that promotes peace and precludes the occurrences which might result in avoidable conflict in the region.

Chaudhry said that a group of 818 Sikhs arrived in Pakistan on April 12 via the Wagah Border to participate in the annual rituals of Baisakhi Festival at Gurdwara Panja Sahib.

He said that the pilgrims would visit different Gurdwaras during their stay from April 12-22, including a one-night stay at Kartarpur for the first time.

Rejecting concern by India about their security, Chaudhry said that the relevant institutions made adequate arrangements for travelling, accommodation, langer, security and medical assistance to the Sikhs.

Asked about the France’s advisory asking its citizens to leave Pakistan, he said that the advice issued by the French Embassy apparently was based on their own assessment of the situation.

“The government is taking enhanced measures for the maintenance of law and order, and preventing any damage to life and property,” Chaudhry said.

On the issue of the COVID-19 vaccine, he said Pakistan has not entered into any bilateral procurement agreement for COVID-19 vaccine from India.

He said GAVI, the international vaccine alliance which offered vaccines to several countries, including Pakistan was responsible for procurement and supply of the vaccine doses to the recipient countries.

The FO spokesperson said that Pakistan played a role in facilitating the peace process in Afghanistan and was committed to help further as peace was in favour of Pakistan. PTI SH CPS AKJ CPS