Tuesday Oct 06, 2020
ISLAMABAD: India is not interested in Kulbhushan Jadhav's case and is only doing politics over the issue, said Attorney General Khalid Javed on Tuesday.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) was holding a hearing into the Ministry of Law's petition to appoint an attorney for Indian spy Jadhav. A three-member bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Justice Miangul Hassan heard the petition.
Read more: Govt moves IHC to appoint legal counsel for Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav
"India, in its reply to Pakistan on September 7, raised four objections in the Kulbhushan case," said Attorney General Khalid Javed told the court. "India's all four objections are baseless," he added.
The attorney general informed the court that India had raised objections on "meaningless consular access" to Jadhav and had protested against Pakistan's decision to not allow an Indian lawyer to represent Jadhav.
"They asked for a convener council practising in London to represent Jadhav," said the attorney general. "it seems as if India is not interested in Jadhav's future, it is only pursuing the matter for political reasons."
Khalid to the court that India had once again refused to become a part of the judicial proceedings concerning the spy. Stating that India was "running away" from the judicial process, he said that the only option that was left on the table was for the Pakistani government to appoint a lawyer to represent the death row inmate.
"Can the court, on its own, appoint a lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav?" asked Chief Justice Athar Minallah. "Help the court in figuring out the implications of what consequences will occur if a lawyer if appointed [for the Indian spy] without India and Jadhav's permission?"
The court asked the attorney general whether such a move will fulfill the legal requirements of an effective review process.
At this, the attorney general responded that India should formally apply for a request to represent Jadhav and obtain legal documents through the proper process.
"Was Commander Jadhav issued a copy of the last court order?" asked the IHC chief justice.
"An order of the copy was provided to him," responded the attorney general.
Justice Minallah then told the court's assistant, Hamid Khan, to ensure that the directives of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are followed in Jadhav's matter.
The court suspended proceedings of the petition till November 9.
The government had approached IHC in July to appoint a legal representative for Jadhav.
The move was made in the light of the ICJ's July 17, 2019 decision, following which the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Ordinance, 2020 was enacted to implement the court's verdict.
Read more: India rejects Pakistan's offer of consular access to spy Kulbhushan Jadhav
According to the petition, Jadhav refused to file a petition against his sentence.
The Indian spy cannot appoint a lawyer in Pakistan without India's assistance, while New Delhi is also reluctant to avail the facility under the ordinance, the petition said.
The government, in the petition, had asked the court to appoint a legal representative for Jadhav so that Pakistan can fulfil its responsibility to see to the implementation of the ICJ's decision.
On July 17, Pakistan had offered Jadhav consular access for a third time, after the second opportunity was not fully availed.
According to the Foreign Office, Jadhav is a serving commander of Indian Navy associated with Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
The spy was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan on allegations of espionage and terrorism.
According to the FO statement, he had confessed during investigation to "to his involvement in terrorist activities inside Pakistan that resulted in loss of many precious human lives".
"He also made important revelations about RAW’s role in sponsoring state terrorism in Pakistan," the statement added.
Jadhav was given a death sentence by a Pakistan military court on April 10, 2017.