Pakistan has once against called on the Indian side to cooperate with its courts and appoint a counsel for Kulbushan Jadhav to implement the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Retired Indian Navy officer Jadhav was sentenced to death in 2017 by a military court in Pakistan on charges of espionage and terrorism. India had subsequently approached the ICJ against the denial of consular access to Jadhav, besides challenging the death sentence.
During a weekly press briefing at the Pakistan foreign office, a government spokesperson stated that it is hoped that “India will cooperate with the Pakistani court in giving full effect to the ICJ judgment”.
“The Indian side is once again urged to take the necessary steps, including the appointment of a legal counsel to represent Commander Jadhav in the case, so that legal proceedings could be duly concluded and full effect could be given to the judgment of the ICJ,” said foreign office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudri.
Pakistan’s demand comes in reference to the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 17 July 2019, cancelling the death sentence of Jadhav and calling for a trial into the allegations against him in the civilian court.
It is pertinent to mention here that the death sentence to Jadhav was handed over by a military court in Pakistan, which was not accepted by the ICJ.
Pakistan has maintained that it is abiding by the ICJ judgment and has filed a case in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). However, the Indian High Commission (IHC), raising question over the high court’s decision to appoint a defence counsel in the case, has challenged the case.
The Indian High Commission, represented by Barister Shahnawaz Noon, has contested that the high court is not proceeding as per the requirements of the ICJ.
“India has stressed upon the rights granted to its citizen under the Vienna Convention and the ICJ’s decision. They have the right to arrange a legal counsel for their citizen,” he said.
The IHC has adjourned the proceedings till May 5, 2021.
Pakistan is insisting that it is fully implementing the ICJ judgment, accusing India for opting for delaying tactics in appointing a counsel for Jadhav.
“Pakistan remains committed to fully implementing the International Court of Justice judgment of July 17, 2019. It is hoped that India will cooperate with the Pakistani courts in giving full effect to the said judgment,” said Pakistan foreign office spokesperson.
On January 14, the Pakistan government was ordered by the IHC to contact the Indian government again regarding the appointment of a legal counsel for Jadhav.
In this regard, the chief justice of IHC, Athar Minallah, has stated that the Indian High Commission has not appointed a counsel yet despite being sent notices four times.
“The Indian government is apparently not serious in Jadhav’s matter,” Minallah said.