Pakistan urges ICJ to expedite Jadhav case hearing

Islamabad/The Hague: Pakistan has urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to expedite hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

This was conveyed to ICJ President Ronny Abrahim during a meeting on Thursday with delegations from Pakistan and India to discuss the timeline of the case of alleged Indian spy Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for espionage.

The ICJ registrar and other officials were present in the meeting which lasted 45 minutes.

The Court is set to announce the timetable of the hearing shortly, the News International reported.

A statement from the office of the Pakistan Attorney General said the meeting was not a hearing to discuss on the substance or merits of the case, but only to discuss procedural matters, including the timelines for submission of written memorials and to enable a hearing to be listed.

Jadhav was sentenced to death on April 10 on charges of spying. However, his execution was stayed by the ICJ on May 18 on India’s request.

The delegation from Pakistan was led by Pakistan Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali. Other members of the delegation included Foreign Office Director General for South Asia Dr Muhammad Faisal, Foreign Office’s Head of International Disputes Unit Ahmad Irfan Aslam and Pakistan’s counsel Khawar Qureshi.

The statement said the ICJ President sought views of the parties as to the time required for submission of their written pleadings and supporting evidence, called memorials.

The AGP also informed the ICJ about Pakistan’s intent to appoint an ad hoc judge who will sit on the bench for all proceedings in the case, including the substantive hearing.

The statement said Indian application seeks “at least release or acquittal” of Jadhav. “As was made clear by Pakistan’s Counsel Khawar Qureshi QC on May 15, India can never obtain this from the ICJ.”

It said the court on May 18 made a procedural order to enable a full hearing to take place and it did not make any finding on jurisdiction or merits.

“Pakistan is fully confident that India can never succeed in its application,” it said, adding that India “can never obtain acquittal or release” of Jadhav on the basis of its application to the International Court.

India moved the ICJ against the death penalty on May 8. The next day, the international court gave Jadhav, 46, a lease of life and stayed the death sentence as a provisional measure.

Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran.