Amid anger at home, Pakistan moves ICJ over Jadhav

Islamabad, May 19 (IANS) Pakistan on Friday filed a plea in the ICJ for it to rehear within six weeks the case of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, after the government was slammed by the opposition for “mishandling” the case at the world court.

Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz said Islamabad, with a new team of lawyers, will put forward its case vigorously in the International Court of Justice against letting off Jadhav on India’s plea.

“Pakistan was set to re-challenge the jurisdiction of the ICJ after it granted injunction on Thursday on an Indian plea to stay Jadhav’s execution,” Dunya News reported.

According to law, Jadhav can challenge till the end of Saturday his death sentence in an appellate court. A military court sentenced him to death on April 10 on spying and terrorism charges.

Aziz maintained that the ICJ did not order Pakistan to provide consular access to Jadhav, but has merely put forward an opinion. He said a decision to provide consular access to Jadhav is yet to be made.

“Pakistan’s security is so important and we have to maintain our fundamental sovereign right,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan government came under attack from the opposition for “mishandling” the Jadhav’s case and two opposition leaders linked the weak defence put up by Pakistan at the ICJ to a meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had with Indian business tycoon Sajjan Jindal.

Jindal is said to be a friend of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader Shafqat Mehmood asked Sharif to disclose details of his “secret meetings” with Jindal, the Dawn reported. He said the ICJ decision was an outcome of the Sharif-Jindal talks.

Mehmood attacked the government for selecting a lawyer at the ICJ “who had not a single international law case reported from the UK Supreme Court”.

Another PTI leader, Shirin Mazari, accused the Pakistan government of deliberately playing a game to advance Indian interests.

“They wanted the ICJ to give a stay. This was a game which started after Jindal’s visit to Pakistan,” she said.

Another opposition leader, Kamil Ali Agha, described the ICJ decision as the “biggest diplomatic defeat” for Pakistan.

Minister of State for Information Marriyam Aurangzeb, however, said the case was fought in the best possible manner and advised the opposition not to play politics over issues of national security.

Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told Pakistan Today that the issue of Jadhav concerns the nation’s security and there will be no compromise on it.

The minister said the “Indian spy” was convicted after fulfilling all necessary legal procedures and any decision on the matter will be taken keeping in view national security.

According to Islamabad, Jadhav was reportedly arrested from Pakistan’s Balochistan province on March 3, 2016. However, Indian intelligence agencies suspect that Jadhav was abducted from the Iran-Pakistan border.

Pakistan alleged that the former Indian Navy officer was involved in spying and terror activities in Balochistan. He was convicted in April by a Pakistani military court and sentenced to death.

–IANS

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