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Pakistan to file counter petition in Kulbhushan Jhadav case at ICJ

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is set to file its second counter-memorial (counter petition) on July 17 in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the conviction of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on January 23 gave a timeline to both Pakistan and India for filing another round of memorials in the case.

Pakistan’s petition will be in response to pleadings filed by India in the Hague-based International Court of Justice on April 17.

Top attorney Khawar Qureshi, who pleaded Pakistan’s case at the initial stage, briefed Pakistan’s interim prime minister Nasirul Mulk regarding the case last week. Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan and other senior officials also attended the meeting.

After submission of the second counter-memorial, the UN Court will fix the matter for hearing, which is likely to take place next year.

India had moved the International Court of Justice in May last year after Mr Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death by a military court on charges of espionage.

A 10-member bench of the International Court of Justice on May 18 had restrained Pakistan from executing Mr Jadhav till adjudication of the case.

In its written plea, India had highlighted Pakistan’s violation of the Vienna Convention by not giving consular access to Mr Jadhav, arguing that the convention did not say that such access would not be available to an individual arrested on espionage charges.

In response, Pakistan through its counter-memorial on December 13 told the ICJ that the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 applied only to legitimate visitors and did not cover clandestine operations.

Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav

Pakistani security agencies on March 24, 2016 apprehended an ‘on-duty RAW agent’ from Balochistan. The suspect was said to be an officer of the Indian navy working for the covert agency to destabilize Pakistan.

The operative had contacts with banned organizations and was working on plans to break Karachi and Balochistan away from Pakistan, and to sabotage the billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

On March 25, a day after the arrest, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said the Indian man arrested from Balochistan has no connection with the government, however, admitted that Kulbhushan Yadav is a former officer of the Indian navy.

“He (Jadhav) acquired premature retirement from the Indian navy and since then the government has nothing to do with him,” said Vikas Swarup, a spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, requesting Pakistan to grant counsellor access to the ‘arrested Indian citizen’.

On April 10, COAS, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed his death sentence awarded by Field General Court Martial (FGCM).

The spy was tried through (FGCM) under Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and awarded death sentence.

Jadhav was tried by FGCM under section 59 of Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section 3 of official Secret Act of 1923. FGCM found Kulbushan Sudhir Yadhav guilty of all the charges.

He confessed before a Magistrate and the Court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organize espionage / sabotage activities aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.

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