THE HAGUE: A meeting took place between International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Ronny Abraham and the delegations of India and Pakistan Thursday to discuss the timelines
in the Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
The ICJ registrar and other court officials were also present in the meeting. This was not a hearing and no discussion on the substance or merits of the case was held, a press release
issued here from the Attorney General Office said.
The purpose of the meeting was only to discuss procedural matters, including the timelines for submission of written memorials and to enable a hearing to be listed.
The delegation of Pakistan was led by Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali and included Dr Mohammad Faisal, Director General for South Asia in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmad Irfan Aslam, Head of International Disputes Unit in the Office of the Attorney General and Khawar Qureshi QC, counsel for Pakistan.
The ICJ president sought the views of the parties as to time required for the submission of their written pleadings and supporting evidence called memorials.
The attorney general urged the court to adopt an expedited timetable with a view for an early substantive hearing. However the court will announce the timetable shortly.
The attorney general informed the International Court of Justice about Pakistan’s intent to appoint an adhoc judge, who will sit on the bench of the court for all proceedings in the
case, including the substantive hearing.
The Indian application seeks at least release or acquittal of Commander Jadhav.
As was made clear by Pakistan’s counsel, Khawar Qureshi QC, on May 15, India can never obtain this from the ICJ.
As has also been explained previously, the court on May 18 made a procedural order to enable a full hearing to take place. It did not make any finding on jurisdiction or merits.
Pakistan’s arguments on jurisdiction and merits will be considered by the Court at the full hearing.
As can be seen from paragraph 60 of the court order of 18th May 2017 itself, the court stated that it in no way prejudged jurisdiction, admissibility or merits.
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.