Pakistan plans to argue the International Court of Justice has no jurisdiction in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death for alleged espionage, because his purported activities are covered by the exceptions cited by Islamabad when it recognised the jurisdiction of the Hague-based institution.
Sources in Islamabad told Hindustan Times that attorney general Ashtar Ausaf Ali, who will leave for the Hague over the weekend to represent Pakistan at a hearing on May 15, will contend that Jadhav’s alleged activities were covered by the exceptions on “hostilities” and “matters of national security”.
In a declaration made on March 29, 2017 regarding the recognition of the jurisdiction of the ICJ, Pakistan listed eight exceptions, including “disputes relating to…hostilities, armed conflicts” and “all matters related to national security”.
“Jadhav has been convicted by a military court for spying and subversive activities, including attacks in Balochistan and the attorney general will argue these amount to hostilities and matters of national security,” said a source familiar with the developments.
India approached the ICJ on Tuesday and obtained a stay on the execution of Jadhav, a former naval officer. New Delhi has also dismissed the charges levelled against Jadhav as manufactured and contended that he was subjected to a sham trial in a Pakistani military court.
India has said Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, where he was running a business after leaving the Indian Navy.
India referred to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations when it approached the ICJ, saying Pakistan had rejected 16 requests for consular access to Jadhav after Islamabad claimed he was arrested in Balochistan province in March last year. India has also sought the chargesheet and details of the military court’s verdict, which are yet to be provided by Pakistan.